Thursday, September 19, 2013

Metamorphosis Essential Questions

Due Mon Sept 23rd: Compose an answer (200+ words) to one or more of the essential questions of our Metamorphosis unit.    Make clear which question you are answering.  Post your response here, conversation-style.


a.     What do people need to be happy?  Does modern life support those needs, or work against them? 
b.     What makes humans feel powerless?
c.      Why do people sometimes feel at odds with members of their own families?
d.     What are the qualities that make someone “human”?  Can a non-human be human?  Can a human be inhumane?  Explain.

28 comments:

  1. You shouldn’t need something to be happy. It should be something you can easily obtain. Happiness is something that you can’t force, it’s something you feel. There isn’t a rule book or steps to become happy. It isn’t defined. However, Franz Kafka’s novella “The Metamorphosis,” indicates the need to be happy isn’t something the main character, Gregor wants to easily obtain. Gregor is this devoted bug who works all day and comes home unsatisfied with who he is and what he does. He questions what he wants and what he should do to become content, but instead compromise with his situation. Kafka writes, “Day in, day out on the road. The stresses of trade are much greater than the work going on at head office…temporary and constantly changing human relationships which never come from the heart. ‘To hell with it all!’” (Kafka pg.2) This really shows that he his begging to be happy. Gregor doesn’t have confidence to stand up and quit his job. Part of being happy is being able to rise against someone or something that makes you miserable. I think that doing something you want is possible in modern life, but it is based off of if you, as a person, is dedicated to change. Modern life does support your needs but the problem is that if you want something you must deserve it. This also ties into what makes humans feel powerless, it’s the lack of confidence that makes it seem harder to fight back. The ability to say what’s on your mind or do what you want is always there and always will be, no one can tell you not to do something, but it’s your decisions and comments from others that make you feel like you are powerless. Gregor explains that if he wasn’t only working to help his parents and what he would do instead, he says, “I would quit ages ago. I would’ve gone to the boss and told him just what I think from the bottom of my heart.” (Kafka pg.3) He continues with, “Once I’ve got together the money to pay off the parents’ debt to him—that should take another five or six years—I’ll do it for sure.” (Kafka pg.3) It’s not worth staying in a job you don’t like for that many years. If you aren’t happy with what you are doing, there are other jobs you can get. Gregor doesn’t use his power to be happy. He feels powerless because he feels the need to satisfy his parents and that it is getting in the way with him to be happy.

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    1. Thanks Keira, this is above and beyond what I was expecting. For future posts, you are welcome to continue in this vein; you may also post more generally (i.e. not just about Metamorphosis) how you would answer one or more of these questions.

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  2. Before I state my argument I think it would be wise for me to point out the difference between feeling powerless and feeling less powerful than someone…. To me, feeling powerless is defined when one feels as if they have absolutely no power or strength compared to someone or something. To feel less powerful, however, has to do with authority in some sense… usually, one person has greater power than another, yet both parties have power…
    I believe we make ourselves, as well as other humans, feel powerless. When looking at my own life I think the greatest ‘threat’, for lack of better words, to my feeling powerless is myself. Through self-doubt, I think everyone has felt powerless… Powerless in taking action, speaking out… all of the above. We, ourselves, denigrate our abilities, leading us to feel powerless at home, at school or in the world. I also believe that we, as humans, have a tendency to make others feel powerless… an example of this in American history has been dictatorships. Dictatorship is an incredibly extreme example of taking power away from others, however it is an example of some human’s desire to be the only one in power. Through sometimes simple actions and words, humans can easily make someone feel powerless… It is an ability of ours that, to me, is extremely dangerous to ourselves and others. Though it is sometimes inevitable to avoid, I don’t believe anyone at any point should feel powerless to anyone or anything.

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  3. In his novella, The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka explores powerlessness through Gregor’s inability to control his own life. As Gregor struggles to force himself out of bed after becoming a large insect, the narrator describes, "he didn't forget to remind himself from time to time of the fact that calm (indeed the calmest) reflection might be better than the most confused decisions... And for a little while longer he lay quietly with weak breathing, as if perhaps waiting for normal and natural conditions to re-emerge out of the complete stillness" (Kafka 7). Kafka begins by discussing Gregor's disconnect between his body and his mind. While, as he later explains, his body is unable to keep still, he must force himself to calm him mind. In this way Gregor is in control of his own body. However, he loses control when the narrator states that Gregor is waiting for "normal and natural conditions to re-emerge out of the complete stillness". While Gregor has the ability to steady his mind, he is under the impression that he can wait and all his problems with be resolved. This shows that he feels that he is powerless in changing his own life. He makes no moves to address his problems because he feels that he is not in control of his own life and is therefore powerless

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  4. I agree with you, Keira, that happiness shouldn't be forced upon yourself. It is sad because in out modern society, happiness is perceived as difficult to obtain. In the Metamorphosis, Gregor continues to find reasons to be depressed and upset, such as concerning himself with work and his family. However, he also makes such small tasks seem difficult to do in order to continue with his life. In society, our occupations and families are very important things that lead us to success. Because Gregor can't even get himself to do these things, it shows that success isn't very obtainable. This demonstrates how some may go about life when constantly worrying about the future. They will become so caught up in the future and not think about the present. To have an increased accessibility to happiness, one of the aspects we need to grasp is gratefulness. In modern life, we can easily become distracted not only by our own lives, but the lives of other people as well. We think so much about the overview of life that we forget to think about the little things. We underestimate the satisfaction that the little details in life bring us when we don’t put our full focus on them. It is important to recognize that we will become frantic if we continue to think the way we do.

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  5. Being happy is very easy, people just need to have the proper outlook on life. Yearning after something that is achievable or regretting things can cause depression. In “The Metamorphosis” Kafka shows that Gregor is extremely dissatisfied with his life. He is looking for a partner without any proactivity. He isn't changing his surroundings, he is simply yearning after what he wants. WIlling it to change. If there is anything “philosophical” that I have learned in my years at Gateway its that one should never worry about things that they cannot change. Worrying about things you have no control over is pointless, an exercise in futility. Gregor is busy worrying about a woman he will never achieve, and worrying about a job he is trapped in thanks to his family. Modern life supports the ability to change your outlook and not worry about little things. It moves quickly and is filled with gadgets and gizmos to help you learn or stay entertained. With things moving so quickly you can't help but re-think your philosophies constantly adding new things or removing old ones that are holding you back. The speed also gives you less time to worry about things you can’t influence since there are many more things to worry about that you can help. You can feel good about taking actions and changing things around you, (as there are many more things you can change nowadays) thus leading to more happiness.

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  6. (Answering C) A common theme of life is grief and fighting between members of the same family, which, though it continues to persist, seems somewhat backwards as love is the widely-agreed upon point of family. However, there exist many layered causes to this miserable inconsistency. One of the most obvious is that family presents the issue of close quarters, where two or more people share the same living space for years. As the word “family” does not imply “identical,” family members are different and these differences will eventually cause obstructions, no matter how small. For example, a mother may want her daughter to clean up her books before dinner, but her daughter may not have enough time or simply doesn’t do it.

    On a deeper level comes the desire to care and protect, as generally family members care for each others’ well being. (This is a biologically imprinted survival skill since humans are social creatures, and we take care of each other to increase our chances at success.) With this continuous care and worry for each other, family members may grow stressed and overly protective, especially if a family member violates any rules put in place for safety. This results in fights and anger, even though such emotions originated from love.

    Similarly, the family conflict can originate from the question of the one versus the many, for family life brings us to consider others’ desires and well-being as well as our own. Often, we may want to act independently on individual desires, lacking the patience to check with family or consider their needs. Anger can arise when we realize we should morally employ this patience and think/act in relation to family, which can cause anger and frustration. If we don’t heed family members’ needs, they may also grow angry with us and feel upset that we didn’t respect their feelings and possibly harmed them.

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  7. B) What does make one feel powerless? Is it having someone over each moment of the day watching every step you take? Is it being told what to do? This can vary for each individual, most of the time it has to do with fearing the repercussions or not having enough confidence or bravery to stand up and fight for what they believe because people are intimidated. In Kafka's novellas, Metamorphosis, Gregor seems to lack those vary same things causing him to feel powerless and not being able to change the position that his life is in. Gregor a hard working man is simply intimidated by his boss and what others expect from him. He feels trapped in his own life because he does not have the ability to change it. Kafka writes, "If I were to try that with my boss, I'd be thrown out on the spot" and consistently repeats the same phrase "I would've" (pg. 3). Here Gregors hesitation can be seen, he lacks confidence that will lead him to have power in controlling his own life. He hates the situation that he is in but does not do anything to change it, he would much rather hold back and let others dominate his life. Gregor would much rather stay in his comfort zone and follow others instead of following what he believes because it is much harder and can be looked down upon. Gregor has dropped the ball in his life, he has let his job and his life dominate who he is and what he does. He is even afraid to miss a day of work because of the consequences. Gregors lack of confidence and fear of being intimated has caused him to feel powerless, his life feels as if its in the hands rather than being in his.

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  8. Feeling powerless is feeling like you’re trapped and unable to do anything to stop yourself from feeling this way. It is not having anyone else to turn to for help- not even yourself- because everything you have tried has proved to be futile. People feel powerless when they are not able to do what they want or to express what they feel. In Metamorphosis, Gregor feels powerless because he has no free will to do what he wants or to express how he feels to his boss and his family and also because he has no one to rely on for help when he is turned into a bug. Being powerless could also be not having a purpose in life or being obligated to do what everyone else wants you to do.
    Power comes from within. It comes from a person’s ability to fight against oppression. A person with power will be able to do what they want for themselves and also be able to express their emotions to people without having to worry about what they might think. Power is also not feeling obligated to do things but doing them because you want to. It is setting your own terms and conditions and knowing that your purpose in life is solely yours.

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  10. C) People tend to think that people feel at odds with their own family mostly due to differences between each other, yet though this is true, I think the similarities with families are what create the most conflict. Differences cause conflict only when it is differences in the way two people view life, as in the way they choose to live life. But when people with the same personalities are together the conflict that occurs is much more intense. Such as if family members who both have very big ego’s would never address any problems directly and work against each other all the time, while if just two members lived with a opposite way of living, such as a neater or messy lifestyle, would be at odds through only petty fights. Like with puzzle pieces, differences are what keep families together, one indents, while the other sticks out, and these the aspects that make them fit together so perfectly. Puzzle pieces that are too similar can never fit together, and in a family, people with similar personalities are only natural as they spend so much time together.
    And one of the main reasons some people tend to feel at odds with family is the fact that family isn’t chosen. It’s just there, and people are forced to make it work. Society says families are close knit and loving, so families are almost forced to try and do this as it is the social customs, but it is not always attainable. Unlike with friendships, which are chosen, families are thrust upon us and are given to us with impossibly high expectations and when they can’t be fulfilled, it puts pressure and stress on the relationship, making people feel as if their family is not where they belong.

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  11. The qualities that can make someone human can be physical or mental. When someone is considered to be human they are expected to be reasonable and self-aware. One can also be considered a human do to the way our human body is structured allowing us to be able to do numerous amount of things non-humans can't. In Franz Kafka's novella, The Metamorphosis. Kafka uses the main character, Gregor to demonstrate in the ways a human can be inhumane. Gregor wakes up as a "monstrous verminous bug" and this shows how he is physically inhumane, describing the way his body was no longer like a human's would be, he had "Numerous legs, pitifully thin." which didn't allow him to do much or anything at all. Another way we see Gregory become inhumane is the way he is consumed by his work in order to help out his family, following through his boss's orders when other salesmen have more freedom than he does and he isn't quite aware of the things he desires for himself and he only thinks of the things that would help his parents and not him. At one point Kafka describes Gregor as "The boss's minion, without a backbone or intelligence", this shows the way Gregor is dehumanized by his boss and his considered unintelligent as if he didn't have a brain of his own because he would only follow what his boss desired.

    We as humans are expected be make mistakes and be imperfect and that is another way that we know how Gregor had become inhuman. He wants to be perfect and never miss a day of work or never show his weaknesses to his family by pretending that he does want to go to work when he actually doesn't want to. All of this demonstrates a way a human can be dehumanized and forced to eventually become in-human. At the same time a in-human can become human the same way a human can become in-human, they can learn to reason and understand the way they are feeling and make their own choices for themselves, rather than listening and follow through the things others want them to do or become.

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  12. In addition to what Steffie wrote about power coming from within, a lack of power is essentially self derived in that powerlessness comes from feelings of losing control. Humans can lose control over money, relationships, etc. but mostly losing control in OURSELVES is what makes us powerless. Gregor experiences this loss of control when he wakes up a bug; he doesn't know what to do or how to act. If we feel like we don't have the control to do things in our future, to live, to interact, to do anything, we are powerless. Even though Gregor feels that he can still go to work, he proves unable to do so as he finds he has so much trouble getting out of bed with his new body- he is at a lose of control with himself (in this case physically). And in this sense, Gregor is at a loss of power in that because he is a bug, he feels insignificant, wherein he feels no control over his life or the people around him. Powerlessness can also depend on the point of view, someone may percieve you as powerful, but if, like Gregor, you think that you aren't , then you are powerless- no matter how many people think you are powerful. Gregor's lack of power that he grants to himself is ultimately what disables him.

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  13. B. Humans feel powerless when they have lost control of a certain domain in their life. However in the case of Metamorphosis, Kafka demonstrates how one can easily lose purpose and power in life through an obsession with society’s expectations. Gregor obviously dreads his vocation; he mourns while waking up in the morning. Furthermore, Gregor exclaims that such a slight error as sleeping in late calls upon the wrath of manager to his doorstep. Gregor personally believes he cannot determine the outcome or path in his life; his strict margin of error cuts away at the leisure time he desperately needs. However, his mother states that Gregor spends all evenings studying travel schedules and his work. Gregor’s deep delve into his work, has resulted in his personal enclosure and powerlessness. Though power can physically be taken and given away, it can also be produced or lost through one’s outlook in life. Gregor’s sees the next five dreadful years of his life as a time to pay off his parent’s debt. He has lost sight of why he is working as a travel salesman and spends his time grumbling about how miserable his life his. Though not every task in life is enjoyable, Gregor’s bleak outlook has already determined what his life will be. His pessimistic attitude provides no opportunity for self-confidence and pleasure in the enxt five years of his life, dooming him to a miserable time of solitude and despair. Gregor’s mindset on his life effectively lost his power over his emotions and purpose within life as he has already deemed a set perspective and way of events.

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  14. C. I agree with Nyssa in that family members are at odd with each other because they are so similar to each other and similar personalities tend to create friction between people. I also agree that our families are not by choice, so it is a journey to make it work. Families usually want everyone to be similar, so it creates a bond and a 'family'. But pressuring everyone to be something they don't want to be causes a lot of tension within families. In most families and in Gregor's family, one of the family members are pressured to be something they don't want to be but they conform to that because they want to please their family members. Families are the one constant in life, usually, and it could be very hard to disappoint them. But also trying to not disappoint them, ends up disappointing yourself, which could lead to resenting your family members. There are expectations to fill within your family and not meeting them, also causes further disappointment. This also causes family members to feel alienated from each other. If we feel that our family members don't support our ideas and what we want to do, that can cause us to feel at odds with each other.

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  15. Dina Kharag
    Even though I do see your point Fedor, I respectfully disagree with some parts of your argument. For one thing, I do agree with how happiness can be achieved by obtaining the right outlook. But, the main question here is what is the true outlook? Is society’s outlook the best choice for people? According to Kafka, he's playing at society’s idea that having the middle class lifestyle of having a job, a place to sleep, and being with family should make a person have a good outlook on life. He presents the main character in his novella, "The Metamorphosis", Gregor, as feeling miserable in this lie. He feels this way due to not being able to obtain a partner, being on false pretenses with his family, and is in depression due to his overbearing job. So this mean that some outlooks shouldn’t be considered.

    Also, when you say "one should never worry about things that they cannot change", I believe in this case, that this particular thinking should be avoided. Don’t you think this thinking will help the person fall more into society’s lie of the Middle Class worker? This is why we have the American Dream to help us create change for our unsatisfied lives. Even though this book takes place in Germany, the ambition to strive for change should benefit Gregor for his personal gain. Besides, if he just gives into the situation he's in, he won't be able to fight off his depression, he’ll never leave the house to find his own place, and he’ll never find a suitable partner. However, like anything else though, the ambition for change should be taken in moderate and careful proportions. Otherwise, Gregor will never know how to maintain himself to not feel too satisfied or not satisfied at all.

    Lastly, I do agree with your statement that "modern life supports the ability to change your outlook and not worry about little things." This is a given since technology gave us a lot in our modern 21st Century life. However, Kafka gives a different perspective that technology can make a person always nervous and unhappy. This is seen with the invention of time and alarm clocks that causes Gregor to be consumed with worrying about it. Kafka writes, "And he (Gregor) looked over the alarm clock ticking away by the chest of drawers. "Good God," He thought..."It was past the half hour, already nearly quarter to. Could the alarm have failed to ring?..Certainly it had rung. Yes, but was it possible to sleep through this noise that made furniture shake?" (Kafka, Pg 3). This quote demonstrates that due to the modern lifestyle and being dominated by technology, it can make a person only feel worse about the tiniest of things. So, in the novella, "The Metamorphosis", Kafka states that if you are overbeared by society’s lie to think that Modern life is all a person’s needs and the technology that society uses as bait to sell to the middle class to make their lives easier, it will only make people, like Gregor, feel that obtaining happiness is impossible. So I believe that if you don’t give in to society’s lie and use your Modern resources in a more useful but reasonable way, it will help a person succeed to find true happiness.

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  16. I agree with Dina that what makes humans human are the imperfections that we have. Once humans want things that are unrealistic we draw ourselves away from the fact that we have flaws. We make mistakes constantly but through those mistakes we start to change some of those characteristics that are classified as not as good. To be classifies as human, one needs to have emotion and feelings for either someone or something. Humans can identify with other humans because of similar obstacles or triumphs. The ability to relate to people on this earth makes a human human. When humans experience good times, the virtue of sharing is expressed to other people. When a human is feeling depressed or worried, they seek other humans to help them. Humans relate to one another, making
    them human.
    Characteristics of a non human would make it very difficult for it to be human. Non humans are usually an object. Many objects to contain flaws but objects cannot seek after humans or develop as an object. An object is what it is so a non human cannot be human. Humans can be inhuman. I also agree with Dina on this topic because of someone were to dehumanize a person, they themselves become inhuman. Their disregard for another another person is inhuman but they are still human. Humans still feel emotions and learn from their experiences but inhuman people deal with their problems in a selfish manner.

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  17. I feel like people need love, acceptance and understanding to be happy. As corny as it seems, it’s true, people these days seek for care and love in all the wrong places. Most are so caught up in themselves that they forget about everyone around them, family, friends, etc. I feel like people have become closed in and isolationist, and instead of opening up to others, they open up, I open up to seeking happiness in materialism and consumption. Many, including myself believe that having or possessing brings happiness, however material things give you an instance of joy and then it leaves. Most things end up in the garbage, however if people were to open up more, and love and accept people for who they are, I feel like people would be happy. You’d want to have the feeling and certainty of having someone there for you, having company, sharing experiences that last an eternity and not just an instance. To reach that happiness, people indeed need love. Acceptance of one another because its hard to understand people who don’t appeal to your liking, not to mention love them. If we are able to understand and accept people for who they are, maybe then would it be easier to make friendships, have relationships, etc.

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  18. B. I agree with Shemuel's idea of how humans often feel powerless. As shown through Gregor Samsa in Franz Kafka's novella, The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa devotes his life to creating happiness in others such as his parents and employer. Gregor doesn't like his job nor does he like tending to every need his company has. He still gets up everyday to go to work and travel all over just so he can satisfy the ones around him. He feels powerless because all his life he has been tending to his family. He listens to what they say and he does not know how to be independent. Independence is a key component to being powerful. If you know what you want out of life, you will be able to attain it because you have the power to attain anything you want. The problem is how to get away from those who you tend to all the time. Getting what you want creates a sense of power within because you are in control of what you want and get. Gaining independence brings the power that many humans often lack and this is a problem that Gregor faces. His state as a bug pushes him to realize how powerless he is over his own life.

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  19. I agree with Fernando on the fact that humans need love. However, I think it goes even farther than that. I believe that all humans need to be heard. In The Metamorphosis, Gregor’s voice as a bug mirrored how he felt when he was a human. It was still there and recognizable in the beginning but would mean nothing to others in the end. People use their voices to be heard. They use them to share thoughts, connect, and to stand up for themselves when need be. Our words have very powerful impact on others when they listen. A simple sentence can tear down a person’s self esteem and cause them to feel unloved. A couple of words can build up somebody’s confidence and make their day. We can use our voice anyway we want for it represents who we are. There is a saying that says, “One voice can change the world.” There are countless people in history that proves this as true. However, what happens when we do not listen? What happens when we ignore everything that the person is saying and refuse to listen to their beliefs and opinions? The answer is this, when we ignore someone, we are telling them they are not worth listening to. We are telling the person that their opinion and beliefs do not matter. We are telling them that they are not human. Gregor was turned into a bug because Kafka wanted to warn us the affect we have on others. Gregor was most likely ignored his whole life and has felt exactly like a bug. Unwanted by others, ignored, and disgusted.

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  20. I think that what makes someone human is entirely based in the mind, and that if a human's mind loses its unique qualities it becomes inhumane. Additionally, a non-human can become human when given mental attributes. Kafka explores this in his novella, using main character Gregor to show the line between human and non-human. Gregor, who is initially human, physically becomes an insect because of how he becomes like a machine in society, something that simply exists. But at the same time, the reader is led to believe that Gregor is still human in many ways because he still thinks like a human. I think that while physically an insect, Gregor remains very much a human through his mental state.


    On the subject of being at odd with one’s own family, Gregor’s familial relationships demonstrate how much pressure can be applied from the people we love. A boss can apply pressure, but that pressure will always be a bit empty because there isn’t a two way attachment. The worker has no reason to work hard for the boss besides just collecting a pay check. Meanwhile, family can create such a large amount of pressure because we want our family members to be happy. In “The Metamorphosis”, Gregor struggles when his family expects so much out of him.

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  21. I also agree with Fernando that people need to feel accepted to be “happy”. In the world that we live in now, technology has hindered our ability to feel accepted by other people by replacing those intangible and memorable experiences with tangible objects that attempt to make us feel welcome in the world. Materialism plays a major role in our happiness, for we seek it in the things that we buy. Those things that we buy, whether it the latest upgrade in technology or clothes that were on sale, have a diminishing value, which is something we're afraid to see. We keep buying things, hoping that they'll last forever, but in the end, they eventually end up in the garbage, like Fernando said, or passed down to someone else. We put a price on worthless, materialistic things that, in a year or so, will be forgotten. In this process, one will never attain happiness, because they won't be able to grasp on to something that has true value to them; something that won't be forgotten, nor will be thrown away. It is friendships and connections that allows one to be happy. When people start sharing their feelings with people, they begin to bond and build on a lifelong relationship. Hence, people need people to be happy. We need others in our lives to keep us from going insane. That is why depression is often associated with loneliness; some people don't have anyone to talk or share their feelings, and they don't feel accepted anymore. We people to talk to, to consult with, to enjoy those same feelings that we all share.

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  22. People sometimes feel at odds with members of their own families because both sides think that they know best for the other. Family member can be around each other for decades. They become so close that sometimes they think that know their family member better then they do. Or sometimes the morals learned from experiences of an older family member could push a younger family member to learn from it. This sounds good in theory, but the younger family member isn’t exactly like the older one. So the same event could have different meanings depending on the person.

    There is a lot more emotion when it comes to disagreements within the family. It’s much harder to let go of family relationships compared to other kinds of relationships. This is why there is much more stress to keep all family members happy.

    On the other hand, is that why shouldn’t family members have disagreements with each other? It’s not like a family has to be in agreement or cohesion with each other all the time. In a way conflicts within the family can train you for the real world. Sometimes or a lot of the time you don’t get your way in a certain situation. If you haven’t faced that in your family you might act naïve or immature in an outside environment.

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  23. I also agree with Steffi that feeling powerless can lead to oppression and that it can render a person to feel isolated completely. Feeling powerless is something that can’t be easily fixed as it can make people feel so condemned with their own life that they can’t do anything about it. They lose their lack of assurance and determination that they usually had in their lives as it eventually deters in something far worse. Through assurance and determination, this ultimately reflects upon the character of Gregor as he basically loses those ideals that pertain to his own life. Gregor’s transformation basically renders him as an isolated figure that feels segregated from his own life in society as he can’t face reality with his family members or his own manager. It exudes so much solidarity that Gregor doesn’t have the power to do anything about it. Power is something that the person them self is suppose to be able to do. A person who is isolated should be able to accept them self through integrity – to openly be happy about them self and their own appearance. As for Gregor, this is something that would need to attain to make feel at power. Gaining power is to exude your own perspective to create a better change with yourself instead of having isolation hinder your life. And as for Gregor, to gain power is to break that silence and isolation that ultimately secludes him.

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  24. What do people need to be happy? Does modern life support those needs, or work against them? People need companionship and entertainment in life. I think that modern life supports both of these needs for happiness very well. First off, the modern society supports the companionship because it enables people to communicate with each other very easily. Modern society makes people communicate with each other and create companionships along the social scale. For example, an employee is forced to communicate with his boss. Also, there are new inventions like the computer that enable to communicate with each other from different parts of the world. This demonstrates how modern world make it easier to get a companionship and maintain one. The modern world also supports entertainment a lot. There are so many new ways people can get entertained now days. Through the internet or new TV shows. Today, there is endless types of entertainment that could be found. That means that the modern society only improved the ways of how entertainment can be achieved. So one can say that the modern society is working for the entertainment. From today, people can agree that companionships are easily achieved and it is really easy for people to find entertainment.

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  25. c. I agree with both Kate and Nyssa that family members often clash because of similar personalities. This friction often causes conflict because we often times, without really knowing it, see ourselves in people similar to us and sometimes we don't necessarily like the certain traits we see in the other person. However, I also think that people feel at odds with their families because there is no real connection with one another. Our family is one of our only constant in our lives - they've been around us since the day we were born. However, sometimes, especially as we grow older, we realize that there isn't much in common between us and our family members or we completely disagree with a certain belief. As a result, some people don't feel as though their family is their "true" family - they find themselves more comfortable around close friends. Of course this isn't always the case. As I said earlier, sometimes what causes friction is some sort of disagreement. Whether it is over something someone said or did or because someone doesn't agree with another, these differences can also be the reason why families are at odds with one another.

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  26. To be human really means to be imperfect. Humans have emotions: they cry, laugh, cringe, fall, and get back up. When you think about it, we’re pretty strange. Compare how we act to how, I suppose for this book, a bug acts. There’s no time to think about emotions and how you feel, you just do what you have to do to survive. If someone were to act without any emotions and simply work, we would automatically think they’re inhumane. Of course, there are other definitions for being inhumane, but in this case let’s just look at ignoring emotions and focusing on work. This shows that even though people are human, they at times act inhumane, much like an insect, which leads to what Kafka has written. Kafka chose to change Gregor, the main character, into a “monstrous verminous bug”, in an attempt to perhaps connect how Gregor acts to what he has become. As a result of Gregor’s somewhat inhumane self, he has transformed into something that physically shows how he acts.

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  27. Being human has come to mean something very different than having a physically homo sapien body. Humans experience incredible sentience and communicate with other humans their experiences. Thus, any favorable qualities that make people three dimensional beings are only confirmed to exist in other humans. I believe that being “human” has grown to mean much more than simply having a human body. One prominent example of non-human things being considered human is in writing. If a book is very relatable and dimensional it is thought to be a very human book. So much so, that this very class is using literature to understand ourselves much better than we could based on our own lifetimes alone. More recently we are reading a book where the main character is not actually human but a giant bug. He is nonetheless in possession of a very human mind and thus is undeniably human. I think that there are no definite qualities that define humanity. Instead, I would argue that humanity means depth of character. People on the outside may seem like blank faces with primal drives but get to know any one of the zombies of society and and you will find an incredibly complex individual with complex motivations, goals and personality traits that make them who they are. This is what I would argue defines humanity.

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