Thursday, September 19, 2013

Metamorphosis - Part 1 Analysis

For Mon Sept 23: Pick one of Kafka's writing choices (diction, syntax, selection of detail, repetition, irony might be useful ones) in page 2-12, and analyze what meaning it contributes to the story.   Each new post must be about new quotes, or have new thoughts on quotes already provided, and no post should be about quotes that we analyzed in class.

OR

Why did Kafka make Gregor a bug?  Add new ideas to our class discussion, and use quote(s) to support your argument.

28 comments:

  1. In his novella The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka employs irony to demonstrate how the pressures of society cause its subjects to mislay all concern for themselves, only focusing on their jobs and likewise pleasing others. In the beginning of the story, the main character, Gregor, wakes up late for his train as a large insect. As time passes, he finds it very difficult to move and exit bed with his new and uncontrollable body, and considers various excuses for his tardiness. Kafka narrates, “Well then, what if he reported in sick? But that would be extremely embarrassing and suspicious, because during his five years’ service Gregor hadn’t been sick even once. The boss would certainly come with the doctor from the health insurance company and would reproach his parents for their lazy son” (Kafka 4). Here, Kafka uses irony to reveal the idiocies and extreme pressures of the work and living system Gregor participates in. Though Gregor has never been sick “during his five years’ service” and accordingly has worked tirelessly during this time, ironically, reporting in sick would make appear “lazy,” which clearly he had demonstrated against. Moreover, it is for the very reason that he has not yet fallen ill that his current sickness would be “suspicious,” or hurting his reputation and employment. Clearly, Gregor’s employers do not consider his humanness (which possibly explains why Kafka has written him as an insect) in their expectations of him. With this use of irony, Kafka demonstrates the impossibility of society’s pressures, for the more Gregor toils and the more dedicated he becomes, the more it harms him to experience a mishap or possibly make a mistake that would cause his production to be slightly less than normal. Hence in working harder and harder, Gregor must, as a result, work exponentially harder and harder to avoid the heightening consequences of the diminishing number of mistakes he may (un)safely make.

    Due to vicious cycle, Kafka reveals how Gregor must channel all of his emotional energy into satisfying his employers and family (who require his employment to pay off a debt). As time passes and Gregor plans to throw himself from the bed, Kafka narrates his thoughts, “His greatest reservation was a worry about the loud noise which the fall must create and which presumably would arouse, if not fright, then at least concern on the other side of the doors” (Kafka 8). Here, Gregor focuses not on the fact that his body has transformed into that of a massive insect, not on the fact that he cannot move, and not on the fact that he will most likely hurt himself in falling from the bed. His reservations concern merely that this violent and desperate act could possibly produce “a loud noise” and “concern” his parents. At this moment, Gregor logically should be terrified of his strange predicament and thus desire help right away to ease his pains and to validate his problem. (He has lost his body!) However, Gregor ironically ignores these issues and instead, merely fears his family’s knowledge of the situation. Here, through irony Kafka reveals that people suffocated the pressures of society, like Gregor, sacrifice their own needs for the well-being of their employment and families. He argues, accordingly, that society is becoming more and more an occupation and production related machine that will continue to absorb all human care for self and self preservation that its subjects may cling onto. With this cycle comes the loss personal values and possibly the loss of the human aspect of humanity itself.

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  2. I think that Kafka made the main character, Gregor Samsa a bug, because he wanted to compare how being a bug who is seen as useless and aren’t valuable by humans to humans who work all day and all night only contribute to our society on a small scale. He also wants to carry the idea of doing something you like instead of going through the same routine miserably. The metaphor that Kafka conveys to the readers explaining how a bug is similar to a human, gives his novella this reflection on our lives. Through Kafka’s words, Gregor explains who he is to his boss, stating, “He was the boss’s minion, without backbone or intelligence.” (Kafka, pg.4) Gregor’s feeling of being scared can carry through the idea of a human being fearful when it comes to their bosses. The feeling of being unable to say how you feel to your boss or anyone else in general is something that Kafka highlights in his novella. Yes in a direct sense, bugs don’t have backbones, but we do. I think Kafka also chose to make Gregor a bug because, of the hours they put in at work. When Mr. Manger approaches Gregor’s house, Gregor’s mother tells the Manager, “The young man has nothing in his head except business. I’m almost angry that he never goes out at night.” (Kafka pg.10) This is such a clear concept of what modern life is like. If you take an ant for example; it spends most of their days scrounging for food, yet they never have enough. Now take a man or woman who spends 16 hours of their day doing work, but never having time for themselves, both are very similar patterns. The hours that both an ant or individual put in a day without getting acknowledge or time to themselves can drive them crazy.

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  4. Dina Kharag

    In the novella, The Metamorphosis, Kafka made the protagonist, Gregor Samsa, turn into a “monstrous verminous bug” to show how people in the working class feel they are misdemeanor to their society. This starts off with Gregor getting up out of bed to go to work in his bug form. Ironically, he was having a hard time getting out and Gregor blamed it all on his job, “‘The stresses of trade are much greater than the work going on at head office, and, in addition to that, I have to deal with the problems of traveling, the worries about train connections, irregular bad-food, temporary and constantly changing human relationships which come from the heart. To hell with it all!’“(Kafka, pg 2). With focusing on the diction, it present how Gregor is feeling towards his job. With using phrases to describe “the stress of trade”, Gregor shows his distaste to his work due to the “problems of traveling.” He complains about everything from “train connections”, to “irregular bad-food”, and “temporary and constantly changing human relationships.” For Gregor, the worst problem he deals with is the human relationships he makes because they “ come from the heart” and usually don’t last long for him. This leads him to feel a forced solitude life since he feels that he can’t be apart of society anymore. So like a bug, he’s forced to hide away from society since he’s so disgusted by the public. This leads him to even hide away in his bedroom from his family, “Gregor had no intention of opening the door, but congratulated himself on his precaution, acquired from traveling, of locking all doors at night, even at home” (Kafka, pg 5). This quote presents the effects of learning to become isolated can lead a person to not trust anyone; including his own family. Gregor states bluntly he “had no intention of opening the door” to show that he had no desire to see his family. Due to how society making him feel inferior to his job, he now also adapted this inferiority to his family members. This leads him to “locking all doors at night” to keep this security that can be so limited. In general, the novella The Metamorphosis, Kafka presents Gregor as a bug to show how not being accepted by society can make a person feel deformed and able not fit in, causing them to feel alone and less than a normal person.

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  5. In Kafka's The Metamorphosis, the author uses irony and selection of detail to convey to the reader that Gregor is finding himself through his change into a bug.
    In the beginning of the novel, Gregor describes the stresses that his profession put on his body and his mind. However, as he lays stuck in his bed post metamorphosis, the narrator describes, "Apart from a really excessive drowsiness after the long sleep, Gregor in fact felt quite well and even had a really strong appetite" (Kafka 4) This quote shows the use of irony because, regardless of the fact that he has recently transformed into a large insect, Gregor actually feels quite well. Kafka uses this irony in order to show the reader that Gregor is changing for the better. He feels content with his body despite his transformation.
    The author also uses selection of detail when the narrator says, "it struck him how easy all this would be if someone were to come to his aid" (Kafka 8). In this quote, Gregor notices how easy it would be for him to get on his feet with a little help. This shows Kafka's selection of detail because of Gregor's role as the main supporter of the family. As the narrator shows in the beginning, Gregor has put all of his aspirations on hold in order to pay off his parent's debt. This change within him as he seeks help serves to emphasize the fact that he is changing and will likely revolt against his parents now that he has taken the appearance of a large insect.

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  6. In the novella Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, he decided to turn Gregor into a bug to convey the message of how societies pressures and expectations can make one feel less than human; like a bug. Bugs are viewed as a disgusting creature; many hate them, kill them, view them as invaluable and as a waste of space. Kafka is trying to convey a message that this is how Gregor feels, he feels as if his life is trapped. He has nothing to live for nor does he feel as if he is valuable to the world because of the expectations and pressures that have been set onto his life. He lives a life where his job dominates everything or as Kafka writes "The young man has nothing in his head except business" (pg. 10). His employer uses him and clearly does not consider him as another human being but one who needs to do his job only; he blames him for all wrongdoing as one blames a bug for troubles. Therefore Gregor feels this tremendous pressure to not let anyone down, it had begun to build on him pushing to the extreme where he feels less than a human and more of a creature that is not appreciated nor loved. He feels that "he couldn't possibly remain in bed and that it might be the most reasonable thing to sacrifice everything if there was even the slightest hope of getting himself out of bed in the process" (pg. 7). One who feels that their job dominates their life as Keira said might leads one to become becoming crazy, but when ones work is not appreciate or valued and instead more pressure and demands are rewarded one does not feel as if human. One begins to feel like a robot, or in this case a bug where not only are they not treated with respect or loved, they are viewed as a nuisance.

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  7. Franz Kafka makes Gregor turn into a bug to show his standing in the world, or at least what Gregor himself thinks of it. He refuses to do anything for himself, he doesn't stand up for what he wants. Gregor says of himself, “He was the boss’s minion, without backbone or intelligence.” (Kafka, 4) Gregor literally describes a cockroach. Do cockroaches have spines? Nope, they're invertebrates. They are also most definitely not renowned for their intellect. Gregor doesn't stand up for himself and what he wants, he is weak willed. Spineless. Like an invertebrate. He also doesn't seem to be the sharpest tool in the shed (a la Smash Mouth). When he wakes up as a bug, instead of assessing the situation he simply begins to ponder the consequences of not going to work. His mundane every day things, refusing to be torn out of the pattern that he has foolishly set himself in, thinking like the same stupid man he has always been. Now he simply embodies what he is on the outside as well as in. A helpless (I've fallen and I can’t get up), stupid, will-less bug. Ready to be stamped out by his boss (or an apple) at a moments notice.

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  8. In the novella, The Metamorphosis, Kafka reflects his view of the world through dark imagery. Kafka views of societies’ anxiety in a dehumanized world can be seen through his constant dark imagery. He immediately sets the alienated stark mood in the opening to The Metamorphosis when Gregor wakes as a giant insect: “He lay on his hard, armored back and saw, as he raised his head a little, his domed, brown belly, divided into arched segments; he could hardly keep the bed sheets from sliding from his stomach’s height completely to the floor. His numerous legs, lamentably thin in comparison to his new girth, flickered helplessly before his eyes.” Here he sets the mood of the story within one paragraph with the imagery of Gregor’s transformation into a pest. An image that most people would find repulsive, the reader will begin to understand through this imagery, the alienation Gregor will receive from this first paragraph. Kafka also uses imagery to paint a realistic picture of the average citizen. Gregor is depicted as a man (or bug) of duty; he puts in extraordinary work weeks in order to put up money for his family which he understands cannot support themselves. Kafka himself came from a broken home where money was scarce and the government created an impossible situation for any citizen who was not employed by the government. At one point in the novella, while Gregor is locked in his room by himself, the “window” in his bedroom is describes as giving “upon a desert waste where gray sky and gray land blend indistinguishably." Kafka seems to add a slight bit of mystique to the story by never mentioning the city or country Gregor lives in. This facet makes the story more accessible to an audience; the more universal, the better accepted. By portraying Gregor's environment as one of filth and hopelessness, Kafka silently builds a miserable, dark, decayed setting for the story to unravel upon.

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  9. In Metamorphosis, the symbolism of locked doors is used by Kafka not only to show Gregor’s inability to trust, like Dina said, but also to show how isolated he is. Kafka narrates, “Gregor had no intention of opening the door, but congratulated himself on his precaution, acquired from traveling, of locking all doors at night, even at home” (Kafka 5). This quote shows that not only are the doors closed and locked, but Gregor himself was the one who closed and locked those symbolic doors. He himself chose to separate himself from his family and the rest of the world. This is the reason why it took Gregor so long to realize that he didn’t have to do everything by himself. He isolates himself from society, and thus, Gregor has come to rely solely on himself. He “had no intention of opening the door” since he subconsciously knows he isn’t ready to let others in or to let himself trust others. Kafka makes Gregor a bug to further enhance his description of just how isolated Gregor is even before the transformation. Consequently, there are many doors to Gregor’s room, which show how the protagonist himself decides to close himself off from the opportunities life gives him to mingle with the outside world every single day.

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  10. In "Metamorphisis" by Franz Kafka, the author uses selection of detail to portray how the upper class(businesses) view their workers. After Gregor could not go into work due to him turning into a bug, his manager appears at his house to see what is going on. After not being let into Gregor's room, the manager starts ranting about Gregor and his position. He says, "I thought I knew you as a calm,reasonable person..I see here your unimaginable pig headedness, and I am totally losing any desire to speak up for you..Your position is not at all secure..I don't know Your productivity has also been very unsatisfactory" (Kafka 12). After missing an hour of work, the upper levels of his job come after to see why Gregor is missing. They are not doing this out of concern but out of suspicion. They believe that by missing one day, something is out of the normal and they immediate jump to the conclusion that Gregor is not a good worker. At first the manager wanted to stick up for Gregor but after seeing him miss one day and defying to come out, he immediately turns around on him. They also continue to humiliate him by explaining that his work is not satisfactory and they are also doing it in front of his family. The only thing Gregor cares about in life is his family and his work, so by disappointing both things, he disappoints himself. His work doesn't care about Gregor as a person, they only care about him as a worker and what he can do for the company. This shows how companies only care about their selves and their interests and not their workers.

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  11. Kafka decided to make Gregor a bug as he wished to demonstrate that though one’s outward appearance towards society may seem grotesque, internal distress and turmoil is where the actual flaws lie. In Metamorphosis, irony is employed throughout the entire first scene as Gregor is constantly fixated on the fact that he is late for work. “Before it strikes a quarter past seven, whatever happens I must be completely out of bed.” No concern for the fact that Gregor has transformed into a bug is demonstrated in the beginning pages. This possibly because Kafka is hinting that Gregor’s adversities within himself can be of more importance during certain situations. Though an average individual may be terrified for his or her life in this situation, outward appearance is insignificant if the internal desires are disregarded. No matter how beautiful or relaxed one seems on the outside, what genuinely matters is the personal composition within the individual. A mental breakdown does not ensue within Gregor’s mind in the beginning scenes as Kafka actually wants the reader to notice Gregor’s depression. Gregor has an obsession with his job and society’s expectations of him, mindlessly dedicating himself to his job, which he actually despises. Kafka juxtaposes Gregor’s outward appearance with his internal distress to relay the vital connection the two retain in an individual, exhibiting a real example of this to the readers and the world.

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  12. In his novella, "The Metamorphosis", Franz Kafka uses the symbolism of a clock to emphasize how Gregor's change, had also changed the way he was starting to live from the way he lived before. Throughout the novella Gregor continues looking at the clock that is situated by his bed, "And he looked over at the alarm clock ticking away by the chest of drawers, "Good God," he thought. It was half past six, and the hands were going quietly on... could the alarm have failed to ring? One saw from the bed that it was properly set for four o'clock. Certainly it had rung" (Kafka 3). Gregory had overslept demonstrating that he had been sleeping deeply, without worrying about his work, supporting Raven's argument that even though Gregory had changed it had made him happier than he was before, because since he was so consumed in work he would usually wake up at four o'clock but this time he had woken up late and even though he had woken up late. He still laid on his bed, just thinking whether to get up or not, but he didn't even tried to get up, showing that he had made some positive change on himself.

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  13. Everyday can turn into a routine for most people. The same events and people bring nothingness to life. People forget that their experiences help them to grow and develop as person. In “The Metamorphosis”, Franz Kafka changes the physical state of Gregor from a human to a bug. Changing into a bug is definitely not an event that happens everyday. Kafka uses Gregor’s change into a bug to draw attention to the the lack of reflection in humans. The events of life become the same after a while and people forget to see that growth and development needs to occur. Reflection is difficult when someone does the same things everyday. Gregor is so focused on being a salesman that he cannot see anything else in his life. The only thing he can reflect on is how many sales he has made. Kafka writes, “that calm (indeed the calmest) reflection might be better than the most confused decision” (7). Gregor recognizes that he is only working to provide for his family but this incident where he is turned into a bug makes him see that there probably is more for him than what he has been doing. Reflection on oneself can be so useful on determining the next step in ones life. People see this world as a race. Everyone is focused on finishing without stopping. Sometimes, taking a step back, to just stop and breathe, to think can push someone to run more than just a race but to find a purpose in their life.

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  14. In the novella, "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka, Kafka depicts Gregor as an insect to portray the fragility of human life, especially when under the pressures of family and work. Unable to determine what is making him feel sick, Gregor does his very best to push the feeling aside. Hoping the feeling will pass he continually reminds himself to get up, yet he takes no action to do so. Kafka describes Gregor's physical struggle to lift himself out of bed, "The violent pain he felt revealed to him that the lower part of his body was at the moment probably the most sensitive" (Kafka 6). Though Gregor is aware that his manager or colleagues will find his lateness suspicious, Gregor continues to struggle. Rather than a motivation, as Gregor hopes it is, his job and manager are a burden, both contributing to his physical and mental decline. Kafka displays Gregor's struggle to portray the difficulty one can have when they are expected from themselves as well as others to do certain things and be a certain way. In Gregor’s case, his manager, family and even himself expect him to follow through with a routine every morning… However, there is a realization that his routine, his work and manager are not enough for him to motivate and push aside his fragility.

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  15. In Franz Kafka's novella The Metamorphosis, the protagonist, Gregor Samsa is transformed into a bug to reveal the human weaknesses and needs he lacks. Gregor has this job as a travel salesman for a long time, not because he loves his job, but because he feels that he has to keep it. In order to 'keep' others happy, he has to do what they want him to. The narrator says, "he couldn't possibly remain in bed and that it might be the most reasonable thing to sacrifice everything" (7). Even though Gregor is now a bug, his physical features has not changed his daily routine. This provides the idea that Gregor is not acting accordingly to his needs. He is so worried about fulfilling someone else's that he forgets how to put himself first. 'He couldn't possibly' is saying that he can't because that's not what his family or his boss wants him to do. The reason Gregor doesn't realize what wants is because he spends all his time tending to everyone else's needs. This is a human weakness that Gregor withholds. He holds the inability to become independent. This is a major problems for many people like Gregor because everyone is used to following what everyone does. He does not know how to act the way he wants. Turning him to a bug shows how he needs to learn to be independent. His physical inability to tend to others provides a challenge to Gregor that he can only overcome with the knowledge of what it feels like to think for yourself before thinking of others.

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  16. Franz Kafka chooses to make the protagonist Gregor a bug to demonstrate the oppression and demoralization chain set upon by society. As we know bugs are seen as pest, these beings that don’t belong because their appearance is repugnant and disgusting. Ironically enough Kafka decides to make Gregor a cockroach. I feel that Kafka chose to make Gregor a bug to demonstrate the monsters and plain ugliness that we humans become when we fall victim to society’s chain. This chain that gives shape and forms us in the views of how society wants us to live, and function. Evidently Gregor fails early on to exceed the demands of society, the demands of his job, and he thus falls into this life sucking abyss that makes him feels worthless and a lesser man, or bug. Within his suffering, Kafka writes, “He directed his gaze as precisely as he could towards the window, but unfortunately there was little confident cheer to be had from the a glance at the morning mist, which concealed even the other side of the narrow street” (Kafka 7). The quote shows the barrier that prevents Gregor from seeing the other side of the street, he’s trapped and blinded. All the hardships and oppression set upon by his job, his boss and society create this “mist” that prevents him from experiencing the other side of the street, the other side of life, freedom.

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  17. In the book “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, Gregor was turned into a bug in the hopes of conveying how, although bugs are seen as useless, disgusting vermin, they are in fact quite intelligent and precise, and pose a very important position in their, well, “society” (I suppose). It is quite strange that though Gregor was transformed into an insect, he does not seem to pay much attention to that detail, and instead proceeds to fret about arriving to work on time, coming off as suspicious from being late to work, and, what seems to be the most important in this situation, how he is going to get out of bed! Kafka seems to be attempting to compare bugs with how humans behave and how we as a species really act. Bugs and insects are very repetitive throughout their lives, always doing the same thing every single day, and yet we as humans do the exact same thing. A bug’s life includes eating, working, and mating. Our lives include eating, sleeping, working, and, lo’ and behold, mating. And we think our lives are so much more interesting compared to a bug’s! Kafka’s message, it seems, is to show how similar we are to how we as a society function similarly to a bug’s “society”, and by conveying this I believe he changed Gregor into a bug so that we have an easier time seeing/realizing this. By showing this connection, Kafka describes: “The next train left at seven o’clock. To catch that one, he would have to go in a mad rush. The sample collection wasn’t packed up yet, and he really didn’t feel particularly fresh and active. And even if he caught the train, there was no avoiding a blow up with the boss...” (Kafka 3). This shows how precise Gregor is when it comes to his job, much like a bug is when working to help the colony. Gregor understands how important he is because he knows how his actions can affect others.

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  18. “A voice called. (It was his mother!)” In The Metamorphosis, the author, Franz Kafka, uses diction to show the disconnection between Gregor and his family. Kafka could easily written “his mother called.” However, he did not. Instead, he stated, “a voice called.” When we hear something as generic as a “voice” we get no emotional connection. The voice could be anyone with no real importance. It is only until later that we gain the information that the voice was really the mother. The parentheses almost indicate that Kafka added it in almost as an after thought. This shows that Gregor does not have a very personal relationship with his mother. This is also shown by the fact that Gregor’s mother does not pick up that anything is wrong with her son. After she calls for him, he then tells her that he is moving. However, Gregor notices that his voice is off. It does not completely sound as it did before he was a bug. However, his mother does not notice this. Mothers are supposed to be the ones who know their children best. The fact that she cannot tell that something is wrong show that she does not know Gregor at all.

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  19. The author of the novella, ‘The Metamorphosis’, has his character, Gregor wake up one morning as a bug, to juxtapose the inner calm he projects, against the violent thrashing occurring within his body. Gregor wakes up and realizes he is not human anymore, and shrugs it off with cold indifference, shown through his thoughts and speech (as many people have written about) but this completely clashes with his bodily reaction. His bug legs are constantly squirming, and twitching as if they were uncomfortable with the whole situation, as one would expect coming from a boy who just turned into a bug, but no, his mindset is seemingly calm and cool. Kafka writes, “…while he lay there again sighing as before and once again saw his small limbs fighting one another…” (7) ‘Once again’ his body is disagreeing with his frame of mind; once again, his legs are showing what Gregor truly feels. He also has small legs’ and while legs are supposed to provide support, his are ‘small’; how is one to thrive when the foundation is weak? Not only is it weak, but they are physically fighting one another, causing this already weak foundation to collapse further. He is physically undermining himself trying to prove he can handle whatever is happening to him, but his body language proves he can’t yet cope. Kafka, with this obvious emphasis on the difference between Gregor’s thoughts and actions correlates this to our lives. This was written in a time where people didn’t have the luxury of showing expression, as most of their energy was being put into the war, and Kafka shows the way it has been damaging who we are. Without this truthful expression, we start to undermine who we are and confuse ourselves with, ourselves. We are fighting against ourselves when we should be building ourselves up. Our society has taught us to forget about self and care only about what we can contribute to society, but Kafka resents this and by turning the symbol he created for this way of life into a ‘verminous bug’ and having him work against himself, Kafka explains the way he truly believes what our society had done to us.

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  20. In "The Metamorphosis", Kafka makes Gregor a bug to show how humans naturally slip themselves into a state of unawareness to manage their problems. Kafka makes Gregor the most absurd thing he can think of, a cockroach, to show that no matter what humans become, they will remain unaware of themselves as long as life is going poorly. Gregor's life is miserable as he is a slave to his job and his family,and therefore can't even take notice when he becomes a cockroach. This unawareness keeps him in a routine, and numbs him from the rest of his problems. Kafka writes, “And he looked over at the alarm clock ticking away by the chest of drawers. ‘Good God,’ he thought,” (3). Instead of concerning himself with the reality that he has become a disgusting insect, Gregor distracts himself with a less alarming notion – that he might be late for work. It is through these minor distractions, pieces of a larger problem, which humans slip into when they lose their self-awareness. The cockroach is a reality for Gregor that he ignores, but it is also a symbol that he is afraid to face. He is worthless to society like a cockroach, which is problem too massive for Gregor to take on, so he slips into his state unawareness.

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  21. In the novella The Metamorphosis, Kafka attempts to highlight how Gregor's internalized inferiority, which is caused by his employer and society around him, has impeded Gregor to the extent that he considers himself to be meaningless and that he's unable to please his employer. After waking up as a bug (supposedly a cockroach), Gregor realizes that he missed his early train to work in the morning. However, he decides to delay his arrival and instead lingers in bed. While he rests in his bed, he begins to contemplate whether or not there's value in him getting up to go to work. Kafka writes: “And for a little while longer he lay quietly with weak breathing, as if perhaps waiting for the normal and natural conditions to re-emerge out of the complete stillness” (Kafka 7). In this quote, Gregor lies in his bed, hoping that he could live a “natural” life with “natural” conditions. Gregor feels that he's a failure because he can't satisfy his employer, thus he hopes to have a “normal” life where he doesn't have to worry about trying to make someone else happy when he isn't happy himself. In addition, the fact that Gregor conceives this idea in his mind reveals that Gregor doesn't value his life that much; he feels that it's pointless to get up in the morning to try to please his employer, and fail. Gregor doesn't want to get up and knows that he has no value in society, thus giving him a reason to stay and linger around in his bed, hoping for “natural conditions to re-emerge out of the complete stillness”. Thus, because of the pressure from his employer to please him has caused Gregor to feel insignificant in the world.

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  22. The author Franz Kafka makes Gregor a bug to show the human perception of weakness and unwanted attributes. In our first look into Gregor’s life, we see him in his room not wanting to leave. "He couldn't possibly remain in bed and that it might be the most reasonable thing to sacrifice everything if there was even the slightest hope of getting himself out of bed in the process" (pg. 7). This conveys insect-like features, to stay in secure locations. Like a bug under a rock or log, he remains hidden. Gregor may think that he’s safe in his location, but on the other hand he doesn’t know what’s beyond the walls of his room. This shows the fear of uncertainty that runs deep inside Gregor.
    Gregor also utilizes his hearing skills when listening to the conversations outside his room. Kafka uses this to portray how Gregor doesn’t want to face his fears face to face, but cowers in his room only listens and imagines the fears ahead. Just like how insects contain most of their sensors in their sounds and vibrations rather than sight. Because of this Gregor is missing the basic human need of physical interactions, which creates the monster-like insect he is depicted of.

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  23. In his novella, the Metamorphosis, author Kafka employs the usage of diction to reveal how "bugs" can bear a nuisance and untrustworthy atmosphere towards our own society. This reflects to how bugs relate to the protagonist of this novella - Gregor Samsa. We as people often suspect bugs to be a problem towards our own world and to also view them to be worthless things. Right when Gregor's manager immediately comes to his home after being absent from his work, Kafka implements the diction of suspicion to highlight how it reflects to how Gregor is. This quickly agitates Gregor as the author states ,"Why was Gregor the only one condemned to work in a firm where at the slightest lapse someone immediately attracted the greatest suspicion?" (Kafka 9). This illustrates the isolation that Gregor sees of how the manager is viewing him as. Gregor greatly feels that why is he the only that is viewed as "suspicious?" This shifts to how us people in society view insects or bugs as "suspicious." We view a perspective of bugs to be pests and disgust, Once we see them, we usually place an active attention on them to see if we should do anything to them. This ultimately accounts to how the manager views Gregor to be. Gregor is the pest to his eyes, and even gone from work for a few short hours, the manager quickly concludes him to be suspicious without giving a specific reason of why he would give a an immediate perspective of him. As a result, Gregor has been placed into immediate suspicion that completely isolates him upon society.

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  24. I think Franz Kafka makes Gregor a bug because he wants to show the reader what the modern world does to people. He makes Gregor talk about his job a lot, and makes it a big part of his life. And at the same time he is a bug and he feels the pains in his body imposingly because of that. But I think in reality the author meant that Gregor feels the pains because of him working so hard at work. This implies that the people are forced to do jobs and they do not realize that they harm them. They make them turned into "bugs", or in reality just systematic humans that do the same thing over and over. Also Kafka mentioned the boss a lot, and then he calls people like Gregor "bugs". This shows how Kafka talks about the social scale of the society in modern life. He shows the reader how the modern life makes people be on the scale. I just think this is what Kafka implies about modern life through the novella.

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  25. I think Franz Kafka makes Gregor a bug because he wants to show the reader what the modern world does to people. He makes Gregor talk about his job a lot, and makes it a big part of his life. And at the same time he is a bug and he feels the pains in his body imposingly because of that. But I think in reality the author meant that Gregor feels the pains because of him working so hard at work. This implies that the people are forced to do jobs and they do not realize that they harm them. They make them turned into "bugs", or in reality just systematic humans that do the same thing over and over. Also Kafka mentioned the boss a lot, and then he calls people like Gregor "bugs". This shows how Kafka talks about the social scale of the society in modern life. He shows the reader how the modern life makes people be on the scale. I just think this is what Kafka implies about modern life through the novella.

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  26. In the novella, The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka writes, "It was clearly and unmistakably his earlier voice, but in it was intermingled, as if from below, an irrepressibly painful squeaking which left the words positively distinct...distorted them in the reverberation, so that one didn't know if one had heard correctly...wanted to answer in detail and explain everything"(4). Kafka uses Gregor's voice to show how weak and powerless Gregor feels and his unawareness of this feeling. Gregor's mother calls out to him and Gregor doesn't recognize his voice at first and when he does he's surprised by how squeaky and distorted it is. The tone of his voice shows how small he feels - especially around people like his mother who, as we see later on in the story, he feels a constant pressure from. The quote also shows his inability to speak out on how he truly feels and his inability to truly understand how he feels. He has just turned into a bug and his voice is changing yet he refuses to acknowledge this. Through this, we see that Gregor struggles with dealing with the pressures of his everyday life and acknowledging and accepting how he feels internally.

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  27. I believe that Kafka chose to make Gregor a bug as a physical manifestation of his view of himself as a huge, inhuman parasite on society. First off this is shown by how he accepts his fate compared to how he accepts his place in society. When he wakes up as an actual literal giant bug, he thinks, “Why don’t I keep sleeping a little while longer and forget all this foolishness,” (Kafka 2). This is showing him laying down, accepting his fate and minimising his problems. He calls the predicament “foolishness,” which is an incredibly small word for someone waking up to a new, insect body. Later he considers doing something for himself to deal with his bugness. To avoid and inevitable chastising from his boss, he thinks of calling in sick, but quickly changes his mind on account of how the doctor would surely think he is fine and then changes his mind to believe this himself. He thinks, “Apart from a really excessive drowsiness even after the long sleep, Gregor in fact felt quite well and even had a really strong appetite,” (Kafka 4). From earlier in the book it is clear that he is very much not okay. He is a bug. And yet, he refuses to recognize this ailment as he refuses to recognize his place in society as having a right to call in sick. Therefore, the bug metamorphosis is a way to physically show how he does not view himself as a worthy person in the world.

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