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Transcript of The Metamorphosis
Franz Kafka's Family/ LifeStyle
He knew how to speak German, Czech, and French.
He attended Charles University of Prague, where he studied chemistry for two weeks and then switched to law because his dad approved more of law.
He was hired at the Assicurazioni Generali, which was an aggressive Italian insurance company.
He was very unhappy about the work he did because it made him hard to concentrate on his writing.
He then quit that job and worked for the Worker's Accident Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia.
Even at this job he was very indifferent (Franz Kafka Biography).
Summary of The Metamorphosis
Published by Franz Kafka in 1915.
Setting: The Samsa Family's Apartment
Theme: It is beneficial to accept other people's differences unlike Gregor Samsa's family
Narrator is in third person and mainly focus on Gregor
it is in past tense
Our Opinion VS. Clarke’s Opinion
Gregor hallucinated his insect body.
Gregor’s affliction is not physical, but rather, it is mental/emotional.
He begins to depart from humanity.
By Liam Clarke
"Gregor is hallucinating his insect body..."(Clarke)
Gregor’s affliction is not physical, but rather, it is mental/emotional.
Similarities are noted between Franz Kafka’s father and the father of one of his characters by the domineering attitude both men display.
“[rising] up in bed to his full stature, and after accusing his son of an obscure fault…sentence him [Kafka’s character] to death” (Kafka xiv).
Gregor Samsa awakens to find himself transformed into a vermin one morning. From the point of his metamorphosis, the novella reveals Gregor's mistreatment because of his transformation and how his family eventually gains independence from the rigid structure of their original life. Gregor’s metamorphosis is a physical manifestation of a emotional/mental disease. Gregor’s family shuns him to the point of causing his death.
Important Occurrences in The Metamorphosis
Rising Action-Gregor is transformed into a bug.
Climax-After Grete and his mother move the furniture out of his room, Gregor hides the picture of the lady in the furs because he wants to retain a piece of his humanity.
Falling Action-Upon hearing Grete's violin and being weakened by his father's attack, Gregor ventures out to hear the music and dies after returning to his room.
Major Conflict-After turning into a giant bug, Gregor attempts to retain his human identity.
Forshadowing-As the family grows busier without Gregor's support, the family grows less concerned for Gregor, which forshadows the family's decision to get rid of him.
The Dissection of
Background on Franz Kafka
In depth on
Liam Clarke's Critical Article over
Kafka's Personal Struggles
As a child, Kafka was bright and excelled in a high school for the academically elite; however, though Kafka had earned the respect of his teachers, Kafka felt chafed by the control imposed on him.
Kafka's father had a profound impact on his son that bled into many aspects of Kafka's life.
In fact, many of Kafka's novellas depict a person like his father who was domineering, short tempered, and had little tolerance for ideas that did not conform with society.
It is believed, that Kafka's complicated relationship with his father may have also been the cause of his two failed engagements to Felice Bauer, his girlfriend (Franz Kafka Biography).
Franz Kafka's Work
He was born into a well-to-do, middle class family.
He was torn between his strict orthodox Jewish up-bring and the German society in which he lived .
Kafka's mother was a devoted housewife who lacked the intellectual depth to embrace the fact that Kafka wanted to become a writer.
Kafka's father was a man who rigidly conformed with society's ideas and had little appreciation for Kafka's nonconforming creative side (Franz Kafka Biography).
“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a giant insect” (Kafka 1).
Gregor - main character, mysteriously turns into a bug one day
Mrs. Samsa- Gregor's mother
Mr. Samsa- Gregor's father, lazy until he has to return to work
Grete- sister, caretaker of bug Gregor, plays the violin
Franz Kafka never married because that would have made him like his oppressive father.
"Franz Kafka Biography." A Short Biography of Franz Kafka. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. <http://www.kafka-online.info/franz-kafka-biography.htm>.
Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. New York: Bantam, 1972. Print.
"The Kafka Project." The Kafka Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. <http://www.kafka.org/>.
"The Metamorphosis Quotes." By Franz Kafka. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. <http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/2373750-die-verwandlung>.
Clarke, Liam. "Metamorphosis." N.p., n.d. Web.
The book depicts Gregor’s father negatively when he “put the worst interpretation on Grete’s all-too-brief announcement and assumed that Gregor was guilty of some outrage" (Kafka).
Gregor’s emotional state is shown through the “pitifully thin” legs and the feeling he has when he sees his legs “were heaving helplessly before his eyes” (Kafka 1).
Forcefulness is expressed when Gregor’s father “filled his pockets from the fruit bowl…and was now pitching one apple after another [at Gregor]” (Kafka 35).
Mr. Samsa reveals his malicious nature through his bombastic tone as he makes the assumption that Gregor slacks off.
The whole book is a metaphor about Gregor Samsa's life and about how he lived for his family, sparing no time for himself. The metamorphosis metaphorically turned Gregor into a bug to symbolize what his life was literally like. Because of his metamorphosis, the family was forced from a state of dependence into a state of independence. That independence liberated Gregor's family from their depressive way of living and made them realize how beautiful Grete was (Kafka).
The Importance of Publishing in 1915
It is important because this is a year after World War I started. The book's theme is about accepting others and that is the direct opposite of war. Later on when World War II started, this novella would have been similar to the problem that the jews were facing with the Germans and their dictator Hitler. This ties into Franz Kafka's life because his sisters passed away in concentration camps, and he was a part of a Jewish German speaking family which must have been tough during this time period.
Franz Kafka never married because that would have made him like his oppressive father. "He never married since this would have signalled independence from his oppressive father... For him to marry successfully would have made him successfully married resembling his father"(Clarke).
Apple- The apple symbolizes the family's rejection of Gregor.
Music- The music is the non-verbal communication between Gregor and Grete
Furniture- The furniture represents the last of his humanity
Hospital- The hospital represents the help that Gregor can receive
Bug- This shows Gregor's ultimate break from true society