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Existentialism - Metamorphosis

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Casey Hopkins

on 12 April 2011

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Transcript of Existentialism - Metamorphosis

Existentialism - Metamorphosis Cydney Clinton
Andrea Ojeda
Casey Hopkins Existentialism:
Is the idea that decisions are not without stress and consequences
A person is best when struggling against their individual nature, fighting for life Franz Kafka studied existentialism
and related it to many of his stories
including The Metamorphosis. Kafka uses existentialism through Gregor's consequences and struggle in dealing with being a bug. Gregor Samsa makes the choice to stay in a job he hates, because he feels it is the neccessary thing to do. What he doesn't see is that his choice to be so unhappy for such a long time causes him to reap the unwanted effects, becoming a bug. Gregor's manager says his "productivity has...been very unsatifactory" Gregor is failing at his job, but keeps going every single day. He ignores the human need for social interaction, working long hard days, and is turned into an insect. Mainly as a metaphoric symbol of his lack of humanity. Gregor's isolation within himself, caused him to be a victim of existentialism, because he is trapped in a non-human body. Gregor is shut off from any communication, and Kafka wanted Gregor to be in position like that to exaggerate him having to fight to seem normal. Gregor has to fight to act like a human being, struggling to do everyday human tasks. Gregor "once again saw his small limbs fighting one another...he told himself again that he could not possibly remain in bed and that it might be the most reasonable thing to sacrifice everything" and that he must get "himself out of bed in the process." Getting out of bed might seem like a simple task, however any movement for Gregor is a burden for him. He has to use all the strength he has in doing something that shouldn't be difficult at all. Works Cited:

"If I was Gregor Samsa..." Insp-irrational:[Dieter Choo]. March 17, 2010. April 10, 2011. <http://carolc13.wordpress.com/tag/gregor-samsa/>

Nater,Adrienne. "Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis, 1915." Death, Dying, Grief and Mourning in Western Literature. 2008. April 10, 2011. <http://www.deathdyinggriefandmourning.com/Death-Dying-Grief-Mourning/67-Franz-Kafka-Metamorphosis-The-Trial-Gregor-Samsa-Herr-K.htm>

Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Trans. Ian Johnston. Vancouver: Malaspina University-College. 2009. Web.

"Existentialism." Philosophy - AllAboutPhilosophy.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/existentialism. htm>

KarlHeinzTeuber. " YouTube - Metamorphosis 2011 - The Movie Adaptation of Franz Kafka's Novella ." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. . N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5kvJdSnhW8&feature=player_embedded> Because Gregor chooses to devote his life to work in order to support his family, he fails to develop a sense of individuality, and once he develops is forced to focus on himself because of his situation, his family becomes angry with him because he is to selfish to realize he “plagues” them. Gregor has worked his whole life supporting his family which explains why Kafka compares him to an insect, also one who chooses a life of work for the good of the colony Once his family is forced to support themselves, they realize that Gregor is no longer a necessary component to their survival. They become angry by Gregor’s “selfish” behavior, reasoning that if it were really Gregor trapped in a body of a bug, he would have “realized that communal life among human beings is not possible with such a creature and would have gone away long ago.” Existentialism is how ones choices affect one's future.
Gregor exemplifies existentialism through his ignorance of human needs, his persistent unhappiness and the denial of his insect state.
Kafka shows his non-rational style of writing in Metamorphosis through Gregor's character as he struggles living in a bug's body.
Ironically, it was only after Gregor is transformed into a bug that his family begins to be proud of what they do and get jobs.
Also, after Gregor changed into an insect, he finally became happy and began to enjoy life. Least You Need to Know Gregor "could get no new information directly, he did hear a good deal from the room next door, and as soon as he heard voices, he scurried right away to the appropriate door and pressed his entire body agianst it." When Gregor turns into a bug, he is forced to examine his life as a working drone. He soon realizes that he can no longer do anything to support his family and chooses to spend more time on his own, doing things that make him happy. Existentialism is the questioning of ones existence and the result that accompanies ones choices. Because of gregors decision to live a life of two different extremes to such an extent that he becomes an unhappy, conformed drone, he dies a lonely, miserable death only after his whole family, he made the decision for, turns against him.


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