“The Metamorphosis” written by a German man by the name of Franz Kafka is a prime example of a modernist story. The writing takes on many different aspects of the modern era, with topics on psychoanalysis; breaking down the components of Gregor’s thoughts, physics, and it also has some what of a political issue on what is the modern world.
Gregor Samsa’s dilemma unfolds very abruptly. The first sentence of the story tells you that ”he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug”.
The breakdown and psychoanalysis of Gregor’s realization that he is now a bug is very strange in the fact that he almost doesn’t seem to think it is much of an issue.
When he awakes to find himself in the form of a giant insect he wonders ”What’s happened to me” but then his attention is drifted to the picture on the wall and from that to the loud audible rain coming from outside. At this point in his dilemma you would think that his mind would be full of insanity, but not Gregor Samsa he thinks of it as all foolishness and even considers going back to sleep. In going back to sleep Gregor’s problem isn’t the horrid fact that he’s now a bug it is instead that in this bug form it is hard for him to sleep on his side, which is the side that he is comfortable with.
The dynamics of physics is added to the book in describing his now bug body.
It describes his armor-hard back, his arched abdomen that is now divided into bow-like sections. It also goes on to tell about his many leg and how they compare to his massive bug body. All the descriptions give a vivid imagery of the physics of a horrid insect.
In a modern world of money and politics where there is a breadwinner of the household Gregor realizes that he has missed his train making getting to work improbable. His income is the means by which the household stays a household. In the apartment with Gregor is his younger sister Grete, his father and his sick mother of which their names are not announced. In this political world Gregor Samsa is basically forced to work a job he hates at a business he hates even more with a terrible boss. After the collapse of Gregor’s fathers business Gregor had to take up the responsibility of paying off his father’s debts to his boss. Gregor’s father is very upset with the fact that he doesn’t work and feels ashamed for not being the provider as he feels the father should be.
Once the realization that Gregor as a giant insect can hardly have or hold down a job sets in the father again gets to step back into the lime light as the breadwinner and provider.
Gregor begins to become useless to his family in his present form.
The psychological effect that Gregor has on his family is one of fear and disgust.
His younger sister Grete tries to help at first by feeding him everyday and showing sympathy but after a while it just become too much for Grete to handle. Gregor’s appearance does not help with his mother’s health and this sometimes excites fit’s of violence in his father. In one instance his father become irate and pelts Gregor with fruit injuring and making it hard for him to walk. Grete and Gregor’s fathers feelings over the effect that Gregor’s mother, her only son that is now an insect is making her health worse and worse and leaves Grete and her father to resent Gregor. As days go on and pass he is more and more separated and isolated from his family because of what he has become. Sometimes the family would leave his door ajar to make it seem like he was closer and in some way in the other room with them.
After the wounds given to Gregor by his father the family begins to neglect him.
The family takes in three loggers and use the room Gregor is in as a storage space adding insult to injury as if he wasn’t there and was already gone. Gregor stays in his room in crippling pain wasting away day by day wishing he had some way to express the feeling and emotions of being a bug and the things like how he wants to encourage his younger sister Grete’s violin talents. Later in the story even more of his human interests coincide with the giant bug of a man that he has become. When the rhythm of the music being played on a violin in the parlor by Grete he becomes very excited. The music coming from the parlor sways him from his room and he cannot help but to dance his way into the parlor. When the loggers catch site of him the family cannot handle it any longer and in that is the breaking point for the family. After the incident in the parlor Grete conveys to the rest of the family that there is no longer a Gregor but now just an insect. She suggests that they give up on the idea of Gregor ever being human again and with remorse they all agree. Later that night abandoned Gregor creeps back into his room where he dies with the mind of a human and the physical body of a disgusting insect.
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The book ”The Metamorphosis” is a classic modernist/postmodernist story with examples found in all aspects of the genera and era. Conveying topics such as the mind of a man who to no ones reasoning wakes up as a bug, and the analysis of his psyche. Along with the modern world and its problems with debts, and the politics behind them. German man Franz Kafka was able to link the world of modernism/postmodernism as examples from the book being of psychoanalysis, physics, and politics through the life and death of a bug-man.
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