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Transcript of Metamorphosis
Punitive transformations in mythology
Zeus transformed Lycaon into a wolf because the latter served him his son to eat.
Athena transformed Arachne into a spider for challenging her in the weaving contest.
Artemis transformed Actaeon into a stag for spying on her bathing.
Circe transformed all intruders to her island into various beasts, including wild pigs.
Punitive transformations in fairy tales
Beauty and the Beast
The Frog Prince
Brother and Sister (the boy changes into a deer because he disobeys his sister who warns him not to drink form the enchanted spring in the forest).
Franz Kafka Mini Documentary
Magical realism or fantasy?
1. Metamorphosis as an extended metaphor (existentialist reading):
- becoming different, dehumanized, alienated
- freedom? Gregor and his family
“The Prophet´s Hair”
"At the Auction of the Ruby
Punishment for repression?
from KAFKA'S "METAMORPHOSIS": REBELLION AND PUNISHMENT by WALTER H. SOKEL
What would you do if you woke up transformed into an animal?
- what would be the difference if it was a repulsive animal, cute pet, or a dangerous predator?
- how would you convince others that this is you?
-how do you think your family and friends would react? Would they recognize you?
Struwwelpeter The Story of Little Suck A Thumb
Der Struwwelpeter is a German children's book by Heinrich Hoffmann. It comprises ten illustrated and rhymed stories, mostly about children. Each has a clear moral that demonstrates the disastrous consequences of misbehavior in an exaggerated way
The Metamorphosis originates in the transformation of a familiar metaphor into a fictional being having the literal attributes of this figure.
The story develops as aspects of the metaphor are enacted in minute detail.
Anders qtd. in "Kafka's Die Verwandlung: Metamorphosis of the Metaphor" by Stanley Corngold
The Chief Clerk
the house cleaner
Three temporary boarders
How do they relate to Gregor?
How do they try to restore order?
How have their roles shifted in because of the metamorphosis?
1. Gregor hates his job and dreams of telling his boss off
He scares the clerk; he exposes his cowardice, humiliating him.
unintentionally/ subcounsciously intentionally
He cannot skip work even when he's sick; he doesn't have enough courage and he cannot afford to quit.
By becoming a bug, he cannot go to work anymore.
"Gregor tried to imagine to himself whether anything similar to what was happening to him today could have also happened at some point to the manager."
the manager Gregor
The family Gregor
"What the metamorphosis does is to make Gregor's suppressed desire visible. It turns his inside out, as it were" (Sokel).
The more he tries to explain himself, rationalize the situation, the more bug-like he becomes, the more difficult it becomes for him to communicate.
His gestures aimed to establish communication are misinterpreted (since he's a huge bug) and have the opposite result to his intentions.
growing consideration for others
"Gregor's isolation crowns his metamorphosis. As long as he can be understood, he cannot be a complete insect.
To be sure, his mind always remains human; but, after the loss of his voice, his humanity cannot be perceived by his fellow men" (Sokel).
reassuming their responsibility