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Metamorphosis is a biological process that involves a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism. Metamorphosis aims to create a stability which frees a person from past negative experiences that may be bringing them down. In the story’ Kafkas Metamorphosis’, Gregor Samsa woke up one day to find himself transformed into a giant cockroach .Gregor never stops to wonder how the metamorphosis happened overnight but instead, he is concern about how he would manage to provide for his family in his new state. This seems strange and it raises the question whether the metamorphosis was actually physical. In his room, there is a framed magazine clipping of a woman in fur hanging up on the wall which could represent his fantasy of a better life. It could symbolize his hopes for a brighter future. He is such an unhappy person that he hangs the picture there to remind him of better things.
Symbolism is the major style used in the story. Instances of symbolism include, the insect Gregor transforms into. The writer describes how Gregor was intimidated by his father’s presence. This could possibly symbolize Kafka’s own life where he felt little. He probably felt cowered by his father. Since realistically it is impossible for a human being to transform into an insect overnight, we can assume the insect also symbolizes an ailment. In his transformations, Gregor was rejected by his family like a sick or invalid relative instead of working much harder to make him more comfortable and feel loved; they deprive him of love and care. They began to ignore him and hide him out of shame. This is exactly what happens in reality when people become really ill. At the beginning some people starts to feel sorry and they take care of them only to get tired and consider them a burden with time.
The food that Gregor eats to strengthen his physical body symbolizes the attention that he receives from his family to feed his emotional appetite. As the story progresses, the family grows more distant and no longer bothers to give him food. This implies that the family no longer cared about him. Gregor’s family is also used to symbolize a group of people in our society. They represent the people who abandon their friends and loved ones in their time of dire need. They could also represent the manipulating, self centered and lazy in the society. This is because, when Gregor was well and able, they exploited him maximally depriving him of his social life. Gregor worked to pay off his father’s debt yet his father was capable of working to pay off his own debt. Also, his father secretly had some money and he selfishly made his son work and provides for the family. When finally he was unable to provide they abandoned him and started working themselves.
The character of Gregor on the other hand is used to represent the good in the society. His sole aim in life is to please his family. He works in a job he detests for many years so that he could pay his fathers debt. Also, his good nature is displayed when upon waking up and discovering his metamorphosis. Instead of worrying about himself and his present state, he is more worried about how he would get to work so that he could provide for the family.
The metamorphosis into an insect is symbolic because insects are associated with old dirty houses, and trash. This made his family consider him a disgrace. His parents and most people in general considered insects something disgusting and that must be hidden. In reality this always occurs when people are ashamed of being associated with certain people because of their unfortunate state, for example poverty. They tend to judge others from what they see on their outside. In Gregors case, on the outside he was a disgusting giant insect but on the inside he was a good and loving person. At the end of the Kafka's story, Gregor Samsa dies. His death symbolized the end of a bad period. This is proved true when for instance, Gregor’s family feels a big sense of relief when he finally dies, and they feel they can start a new life. They even move to a new house to symbolize a new beginning.
In the modern world, Gregor can be viewed as a hard working man despite the hardships he had to endure at his workplace. He loved his family and did all he could to make them happy. This is how he came to be viewed as an insect by his family. An insignificant person who his family did not deem fit to appreciate. The transformation symbolizes Gregors change in his opinion about humanity, before the transformation, Gregor used to live solely to make others happy. However, as a result of the metamorphosis, he is able to focus more on his needs and desires. This is shown when he craves for affection from his family but gets none. Eventually, Gregor is a bug that is struggling to free itself and get independence from all that makes him unhappy, the giant insect that Gregor becomes is not meant to be taken as a symbol of inhumanity. Rather, it helps to demonstrate how human Gregor had become. This is evident when he is struggling with his emotions and the need to be appreciated and accepted by his family. Something only human beings desire and need.
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