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Transcript of the metamorphosis
By: Franz Kafka
By: Franz Kafka
By: Franz Kafka
This is the man who supported his family but mysteriously turned into a bug one day.
This is the sister of the insect man who fed and took care of the insect, Gregor.
The father of the insect who had to return to work when the son could not.
TIME AND PLACE WRITTEN · Prague, 1912
DATE OF FIRST PUBLICATION · 1915
PUBLISHER · Kurt Wolff Verlag
NARRATOR · The narrator is an anonymous figure who recounts the events of the story in a flat, neutral tone.
POINT OF VIEW · The narrator speaks exclusively in the third person, focusing primarily on the thoughts, feelings, and actions of Gregor Samsa. The narrator only describes events that Gregor sees, hears, remembers, or imagines from the actions around him.
TONE · The narrator’s tone is flat and unchanging, describing even the most outlandish events in a neutral fashion.
TENSE · Past tense
SETTING (TIME) · Unspecified, though references to trains and streetcars suggest the late-nineteenth century or early twentieth century
SETTING (PLACE) · The Samsa family’s apartment in an unspecified city
PROTAGONIST · Gregor Samsa
MAJOR CONFLICT · Gregor Samsa struggles to reconcile his humanity with his transformation into a giant bug
RISING ACTION · When Gregor Samsa wakes up inexplicably transformed into a giant bug, he must handle the consequences in terms of his understanding of himself and his relationship with his family
CLIMAX · Unable to bear the thought that all evidence of his human life will be removed from his room, he clings to the picture of the woman in furs, startling Grete and the mother and leading the father to attack him
FALLING ACTION · Gregor, injured in the father’s attack, slowly weakens, venturing out of his room once more to hear Grete play the violin and dying shortly thereafter
THEMES · The absurdity of life; the disconnect between mind and body; the limits of sympathy; alienation
MOTIFS · Metamorphosis; sleep and rest; money
FORESHADOWING · Gregor is seriously injured after he leaves the room a second time and he stops eating and sleeping, foreshadowing his eventual death; the family gradually takes less interest in Gregor, foreshadowing their decision to get rid of him
The apple thrown at Gregor by his father symbolizes the family's rejection of Gregor's new life as an insect. Once the family realizes that Gregor is no longer able to provide for their living, they find him useless and refuses to care for him.
The removal of the furniture is a symbol of giving up hope on Gregor's ability to become human again. The furniture is Gregor's link to his human past.
It represents Gregor's ultimate freedom from society.
This symbolizes help which is so near for Gregor yet so far.
The symbolizes the universal communication that Gregor could have had with his sister.
“He again told himself that it was impossible for him to stay in bed and that the most rational thing was to make any sacrifice for even the smallest hope of freeing himself from the bed. But at the same time he did not forget to remind himself occasionally that thinking things over calmly – indeed, as calmly as possible – was much better than jumping to desperate decisions.”
“He was lying on his back as hard as armor plate, and when he lifted his head a little, he saw his vaulted brown belly, sectioned by arch-shaped ribs, to whose dome the cover, about to slide off completely, could barely cling. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, were waving helplessly before his eyes.”
“He would have to lie low and, by being patient and showing his family every possible consideration, help them bear the inconvenience which he simply had to cause them in his present condition.”
”When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.”
“You, Gregor!" cried his sister with raised fist and piercing eyes. These were the first words she had addressed directly to him since his metamorphosis.”
“Well, leaving out the fact that the doors were locked, should he really call for help? In spite of all his miseries, he could not repress a smile at this thought.”
“No plea of Gregor's helped, no plea was even understood; however humbly he might turn his head, his father merely stamped his feet more forcefully  he drove Gregor on, as if there were no obstacle  his father gave him a hard shove, which was truly his salvation, and bleeding profusely, he flew far into his room.”
“This old widow, who thanks to her strong bony frame had probably survived the worst in a long life, was not really repelled by Gregor.”
One example of irony that highlights Gregor’s expulsion by and isolation from his family is the fact that when his room is locked, everyone is dying to get in; yet when they realize that he has morphed into a giant insect, although the doors remained unlocked, they are scared to enter.
Another example of irony in this novella is the fact that while Gregor was human, he took care of his lazy family and did everything he possibly could for them when they needed him, yet when he morphed into a giant insect, they suddenly started working and were extremely well off.
Although there are many differing views on what The Metamorphosis truly means, Sheldon Goldfarb interpreted many of the symbols in the book as representations of Gregor's faux freedom.
Gregor's love for his new life is a mass of conflicting emotions, when his mother decides to remove the furniture from his room, Gregor decides to resist as an attempt to keep his humanistic tendencies alive.
Gregor proves to be a symbolic martyr for his family; since he works by himself to support his family and when he falls out of his bed he does not worry for his immediate health, but rather worries about making a loud sound and also when he gives up the pleasure of seeing his mother as to not scare her with his grotesque appearance.
The most blatant example of a metaphor used is Gregor being transformed into an insect. At the end of the book, we realize that he was not literally an insect the entire time, yet by the end of the novella he was literally transformed into an insect. The use of an insect as a metaphor is used to portray his truly bug-like existence before being transformed into an actual bug. Before his metamorphosis, he lived only for his family: he did not do anything for himself, he just went to work every day in a job that he hated in order to make enough money to pay off his family’s debts, while they sat around doing nothing and embracing their dependence on him. During his metamorphosis, his internal bug-like nature was simply manifested into a literal exoskeleton, after which he became more and more like a bug: losing his love of human food while gaining of a love of dark places.
The BIG Idea!
Gregor's physical isolation in his room speaks to his general alienation from modern society,where he is surrounded by people yet feels alienated from the bonds he never formed. Despite the fact that he's finally gotten his wish, Gregor is overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and shame at being – literally – a parasite to his family. In the bleak world of the novella, happiness is impossible because the needs of the individual and society are irreconcilable yet equally compelling.
The reader is soon presented with cosmic irony, which is often quirky and drenched in dark humor. For Gregor Samsa, he decides the best thing to do is just go back to sleep, but now that he is an insect he can’t roll over onto his side, which is how he usually sleeps.
Another example of irony unravels when Samsa’s father finds out about his son’s transformation. Again Kafka creates situational irony when the father is more concerned about his son’s ability to go to work and less concerned about his metamorphosis.
Dear GAP Group,
Sandra's Sno Ball Shop,
Mrs. Rains, here is what really goes on at GAP meetings.
What? No reply? :(