Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tue: Patterns and Changes in Book 2

What repeated images or issues are coming up in the novella so far?  
OR
What has changed or not changed from beginning, and what does it mean?
(200+ words, conversation style)

29 comments:

  1. There are numerous ongoing references to doors in The Metamorphosis; the three doors that surround Gregor’s bedroom are particularly pertinent. The door is the Samsa’s attempt at separating themselves from the unwanted creature that once was his son, now an embarrassment to his family. Although, his family felt this way to some degree even before his transformation; Gregor was nothing but a paycheck to them. Metaphorically, it’s clear that Gregor is a prisoner of his family. Three of the four walls that make up his room have doors; there is one double door that leads into the sitting room and two side doors. The fourth wall has a window facing a hospital, but it never occurs to the Samsas to take their son there. On the other hand, the door is a protection for Gregor. It shields him, most of the time, from the ugliness, anger, and hostile curiosity of whoever is on the other side of the door. The tragedy, of course, is that these negative emotions emanate from his family, the people who should be most supportive of him. The presence of the door ensures his privacy, while it also ensures he can be neglected by those who should take care of him.

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  2. Kafka has kept Gregor in isolation ever since he’s been turned into a bug. By doing this, he not only shows how Gregor is physically isolated but takes this idea a step further by showing how Gregor was always emotionally isolated before he became a bug. Although Gregor is in the house all day, he isn’t really a part of the family anymore because they make decisions without consulting with him and the closest thing to human contact he has is by listening through the walls and the doors. Kafka uses Gregor here to demonstrate how a person can be a part of something yet be so apart from it also. Proximity and familiarity don’t have anything to do with making a person feel loved or cared for. Gregor is only now finally realizing how alone and separated he is from the rest of the world and soon yearns for human contact by going out of his way to seem more welcoming to the outside world when he purposely hides himself under a blanket so his mother would be willing to go in to his room for the first time. Kafka is trying to tell people how isolation can drive people to become desperate and willing to change who they are in the hopes of finally being understood and acknowledged.

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  3. One of the main issues plaguing Gregor is the balance between his humanity and his bug form. From the beginning it is evident that while his body has transformed into an insect, his mind remains purely human. As the story goes on it becomes clear that Gregor is deeply conflicted between his mind and body. When the narrator says, "He felt himself included once again in the circle of humanity" (Kafka 15) Kafka is trying to show the reader that Gregor is losing his humanity, he spend so much time in isolation because of his job that he is becoming the bug that scours the earth on the outside. The narrator goes on to say, "he did not notice that he was obviously inflicting some damage on himself" it shows the disconnect between Gregor's mind and body.This is important when analyzing Gregor's character as a whole because he has so much strength and willpower in his head that he does not spare any attention to how his actions affect his body. He is slowly bleeding himself as the disconnect between his mind and body grows larger

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  4. One particular aspect of the novella The Metamorphosis that has gradually changed is Gregor’s isolation from the world around him, including his family, who have gone to extreme measures in rejecting Gregor from their daily lives. At the end of part one, Gregor’s attempt to grab his manager’s attention is hampered by his father, who forces him back to his room. This sets the tone and attitude for how Gregor’s family treats him; they seclude him from the entirely family as a whole, and can’t bear to even look at him. As the novella progresses, Gregor is increasingly isolated from his family, as his fondness of milk doesn’t seem to please him anymore. This shows that Gregor is in somewhat of a state of depression; he begins to lose interest in those kinds of things. Often, when people are in a state of depression, they start losing those passionate feelings that help define them as a human; those favorites become trivial aspects of life that aren’t worth any value.
    Gregor’s increased isolation contributes to the work as a whole by revealing how pressure from his family invokes Gregor to justify his actions, regardless if they’re wrong doings or not. One substantial cause of Gregor’s depression is the financial instability his family is in. Gregor indicates that he is the sole provider for his family because his mother and father are unsuitable for having a job. Because of this, there’s a burden on Gregor to contribute to his family, for he is hanging the balance of his family’s financial circumstances. Gregor’s role as the financial provider of his family serves to portray how having that kind of pressure brought upon a single person causes them to see and think about things in a different way such that Gregor has to be able to suffice the needs of his family, regardless of whatever measures are taken to. Thus, the reason why Gregor thinks so much about his simplest actions is because he attempts to justify his behavior; in Gregor’s eyes, family comes first, and he seeks to serve them at whatever cost. Gregor feels that he it is his duty to support his family financially, and he will do anything necessary to accomplish that goal.

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  5. Gregor is clearly separated from his father and does not have a sincere relationship, his father could not understand and accept who he was when he was a human and can not do so now especially since he is a bug. Kafka writes "No request of Gregor's was of any use; no request would even be understood. No matter how willing he was to turn his head respectfully, his father just stomped all the harder with his feet" (Pg. 21). Here Kafka demonstrates the relationship that has neither changed and continues to occur with Gregor and his father, he is not valued for who he is and is constantly beat down the harder he tries. Gregor is almost used by his family and is just kept there to make it seem as if the family is united when its clearly not. Gregor has slowly been disconnected from those around him; on a daily basis he had been beat down, looked at as if he is worthless and disrespected and this has bushed him to lose who he as. This vicious cycle that continues to occur demonstrates the value of how people treat others that eventually leads one to the breaking point.

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  6. A repeating but small element in The Metamorphosis are windows. Gregor looks outside his window trying to understand his current situation. Windows are everywhere, they are seen right through their material. Through a window, an object or person can look perfect but once the window is removed and a closer look is taken,
    the impurities and scars are revealed. Staring through a window can bring a presence of escape as one can see and try to feel as they are somewhere else, wanting to reach outside and leave their problems behind. Gregor's mother confides in putting her face outside of the window as she sees her reality turning into a disaster. Her son, who is the source of the family's income is now a bug. The window acts as an illusion, changing scenes outside her home can make her feel as though everything that has just happened is not true. The air that surrounds her is just another push back into reality as she leaves the window, running away to her husband. Outside a window, a pretty image can be displayed but the truth of life wills for people to face their problems instead of running away from them.

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  7. I agree with others that Gregor’s isolation has impacted him greatly. However, I also recognize that the way in which Gregor’s family treats him affects him, causing him to morph from a person with conviction and assurance in himself as worthy to a person with open shame and who sees himself as a burden. Towards the beginning of the novella, Gregor awakes as a large insect and, due to tardiness for his job, leaves his room as the insect to confront his manager. Gregor explains his situation, “You see, Mr. Manager, I am not pig-headed, and I am happy to work . . . A person can be incapable of work momentarily, but this is precisely the best time to remember the earlier achievements and to consider that later, after the obstacles have been shoved aside, the person will work all the more keenly and intensely” (Kafka 17-18). Here, Gregor clearly holds a confidence through his diction for although he has caused delays for the company, he self-acceptingly allows himself this mistake as “momentary” and is easily certain about later keen and intensified productivity. Without any pain, he excuses himself and trusts that others will too, demonstrating a self-assurance. Therefore, here Gregor is a confident and strong person who lacks shame in himself.

    However, after his family sees Gregor as a massive insect, they begin to treat him in a shameful manner. Kafka describes how Gregor’s sister cares for him, “As soon as she entered [Gregor’s room], she ran straight to the window, without taking the time to shut the door (in spite of the fact that she was otherwise very considerate in sparing anyone the sight of Gregor’s room), and yanked the window open with eager hands, as if she was almost suffocating, and remained for a while by the window breathing deeply” (Kafka 36). Here, Gregor’s sister clearly behaves in a manner that reveals her disgust for his form and situation: she “suffocates” in the room and “ran straight to the window” to open it and breathe “deeply” again while considering that no one must endure “the sight of Gregor’s room.” Hence, her abhorrent actions demonstrate to Gregor that his presence is a burden, for she avoids him and helps others, along with herself, avoid even his room. Through such actions, Gregor’s sister implies that her care for him is labored and accordingly an unpleasant burden, no matter how much she loves him. In addition to his sister, the housemaid begs to quit and Gregor’s mother and father refuse to see him for weeks.

    After a few weeks, this humiliating treatment instills a deep shame in Gregor, who then mislays his earlier confidence and self-assurance. Kafka narrates his response to his sister’s presence, “Of course, Gregor immediately concealed himself under the couch . . . he realized that his appearance was still constantly intolerable to her and must remain intolerable in the future, and that she really had to exert a lot of self control not to run away from a glimpse of only the small part of his body which stuck out from underneath the couch” (Kafka 37). Clearly, Gregor realizes and believes that his mere appearance is “intolerable,” and thus hides every “small part of his body” from his sister to ease her pains. In this way, Gregor indicates he sees himself as a burden for he desperately attempts to please his family and cause it the least pain and effort possible. The simple act of hiding reveals just how insecure Gregor is; where he once proudly accepts his mistakes and wields the confidence to return directly to his job, he now hides in dishonor of his very existence. Therefore, the way in which Gregor’s family treats him after his “metamorphosis” transforms his personality from confident and self-assuring to shameful and insecure.

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  8. Throughout the beginning of the novella, Gregor puts his families needs before his. He is overly obsessed with his work because he is the sole provider for his family. They have been accustomed to living a life provided for Gregor so they add pressure onto him so he would remain providing for him. This has caused Gregor to live his life by the rules of others and to be in his head because he is isolated from his family members. The reader can slowly see Gregor realizing what he actually wants but it's all talk. He doesn't want to dissapoint his family or his work. After turning into a bug, Gregor's attitude starts to change. In comparison to the beginning of the novella, Gregor has changed in leaps in bounds. He started to talk back to the manager and was not aware of what he was saying, which is strange considering that everything that Gregor thinks and says was overthought beforehand. In addition, Gregor wanted himself to be seen by his family and manager, in contrast to Gregor staying in and locking his doors away from others before his transformation. Gregor also is more confident and assured with who and what he is. Changing into a bug, actually made Gregor feel more human.

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  9. Part 2: Through this, Kafka asserts that the way in which others, especially close family members, treat us dictates how we perceive ourselves. Many children and people, like Gregor, can easily become emotionally unstable from receiving messages that they are not good enough and thus disliked; they will despise themselves back. Therefore, we as humans are a very fragile race of interconnection, where one slight mistreatment can spread through generations as children mature to feel insecure about themselves and express this into their own children. With nebulous origins and obscure pathways, it is very difficult to control these emotional disturbances that vibrate through the web of society, defining it as a chronic weakness of humanity.

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  10. I agree with Randy on the fact that the relationship between Gregor and his father is not great. I would also like to connect that with the reoccurring image of Gregor’s legs. In class, we discussed that his “small limbs which, in addition, he was unable to control” could possibly his circumstances. His legs could not only represent his relationship with himself, but also with others. When Gregor’s father first discovered what his son had become, he was completely terrified. In that state of mind, he immediately forced his son back in his room and shut him out instead of helping him. In the process, Gregor’s leg became injured. Kafka mentions that it was “almost a miracle that only one (leg) had been hurt.” I believe that this symbolizes his relation ship with his father. Only one of his family members truly shut him out and in doing so, he hurt Gregor’s feelings. We do not get a description of Gregor’s reaction to this predicament so the only window we have to how he is feeling is his physical state. Gregor is left with a limp leg and a sore side. When one is sore, it becomes very difficult to move and is a constant reminder of the pain you went through. I believe this reflects Gregor’s feelings on his father. Gregor’s injured leg is a constant reminder of the father that does not want or accept him.

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  11. I agree with Raven that Gregor is becoming more and more disconnected from his humanity. More and more so as the story progresses. There is more disconnect between his needs as a human and his needs as a bug. He is content to simply sleep and eat and stare out the window. Every. Single. Day. He may also be turning more bug like physically. He cannot see as far as he used to, "From day to day he perceived things with less clarity, even those a short distance away" (Kafka, 35). Gregors vision has obviously physically changed, and vision is a little more personal, closer to the brain than physical appearance. Gregor just keeps changing and changing into what he is on the inside. Helpless, spineless, and now blind (to the truth).

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  12. I agree with Jessica there are a lot of mentions about doors, but I see it more as him choosing which doors he should open and closes and who he chooses to do so. The types of physical and mental things that Gregor decides to open and close changes in the second part of the novella. In the first part of this novella we understand that Gregor wants to open the door for his Manager, but can’t. As you are reading this section you kind of get the sense that maybe he just doesn’t want to open the door and that he wants to shut out his manager. However reading the second section of “The Metamorphosis” novel you start to understand what his obligations are. Gregor peeks his dead out to see his parents reading to his sister. It gives you the sense that he is devoted to his family and wants to be around them but also the fact that he wants to start a new chapter in his life.

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  13. I agree with the comments above that state that Gregor’s family has repetitively repressed him and has aided in his solitude and feelings. I would also like to add that I find it very confusing that instead of dealing with the physical transformation of Gregor, the family instead discusses financial plans for their future. I can identify this as a motif as multiple events in the novella arise in which the characters somewhat ignore the elephant in the room. Multiple occasions have occurred in which the reader would flip out at the character’s neglect for the real issues at hand. The mother and sister attempt to move furniture to create a better “habitat” for Gregor to climb around on. The sister examines what specific foods Gregor likes to eat. The father pulls out cash reserves to keep the household living. The family members are using their efforts towards coping with Gregor’s transformation, rather than attempting to find any bit of solution to help him return to his normal state. It almost seems that Kafka is attempting to demonstrate the human obsession with the intellectual or brain aspect of the body (the renaissance diagram from class today) as each character disregards the body and heart, with exception to the sister arguably. However, Kafka is trying to display an account of a family that genuinely believes they are acting in the best interests of the household, yet unknowingly forgetting what truly matters. Financial stability and a vocation are aspects that serve to fuel not only the mind, but also the heart and body. No matter what jobs they obtain, what money they receive, and what “enclosure” they create for Gregor, their heart and body will mourn as their only son is a grotesque bug living in their home, unable to communicate to the outside world. Kafka is attempting to demonstrate that similar to Gregor, the entire family is fixated upon the mind, money, and jobs; they all neglect the real problems they have and fail to confront the issues.

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  14. I agree with the comments above that state that Gregor’s family has repetitively repressed him and has aided in his solitude and feelings. I would also like to add that I find it very confusing that instead of dealing with the physical transformation of Gregor, the family instead discusses financial plans for their future. I can identify this as a motif as multiple events in the novella arise in which the characters somewhat ignore the elephant in the room. Multiple occasions have occurred in which the reader would flip out at the character’s neglect for the real issues at hand. The mother and sister attempt to move furniture to create a better “habitat” for Gregor to climb around on. The sister examines what specific foods Gregor likes to eat. The father pulls out cash reserves to keep the household living. The family members are using their efforts towards coping with Gregor’s transformation, rather than attempting to find any bit of solution to help him return to his normal state. It almost seems that Kafka is attempting to demonstrate the human obsession with the intellectual or brain aspect of the body (the renaissance diagram from class today) as each character disregards the body and heart, with exception to the sister arguably. However, Kafka is trying to display an account of a family that genuinely believes they are acting in the best interests of the household, yet unknowingly forgetting what truly matters. Financial stability and a vocation are aspects that serve to fuel not only the mind, but also the heart and body. No matter what jobs they obtain, what money they receive, and what “enclosure” they create for Gregor, their heart and body will mourn as their only son is a grotesque bug living in their home, unable to communicate to the outside world. Kafka is attempting to demonstrate that similar to Gregor, the entire family is fixated upon the mind, money, and jobs; they all neglect the real problems they have and fail to confront the issues.

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  15. I agree with Randy, and I believe Kafka uses the 'typical' gender roles to further display Gregor's relationship with his father. In the novella, Kafka has continually presented ‘typical’ gender roles. The mother and sister, empathetic and emotional and the father, stern and angry, towards Gregor’s condition, both before and after he revealed himself to them. The mother upon seeing Gregor in his ‘new’ state of being, falls to knees, delirious, just as a mother would typically be depicted as in American society. She is confused, and unable to grasp what has truly happened, but in contrast, her husband, Gregor’s father, is furious and crying from shame and anger. “His mother… with her hands clasped was looking at his father; she then went two steps towards Gregor and collapsed right in the middle of her skirts… His father clenched his fist with a hostile expression” (Kafka 16). This depiction is continued when the manager begins to leave Gregor’s home, Gregor’s mother holds “... her head bowed down...” (Kafka 20) and sitting “... down heavily...” (Kafka 20), displaying her overwhelming and dramatic response to the situation. Additionally, in contrast to her behavior, Gregor fears his father’s potential to become extremely angry and possibly violent. “... but he was afraid to make his father impatient… each moment he faced the threat of a mortal blow on his back of his head from the cane in his father’s hand” (Kafka 22). The use of the ‘typical’ gender roles allows the reader to greater understand Gregor’s parents and family as well as his relationship with them.

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  16. I agree with Till that Gregor's relationship with his sister shows that she is suffering a great burden of taking care of him. It is an interesting relationship because she has such an empathetic nature, which Till pointed out that she considered closing the window so people won't endure "the sight of Gregor's room". Because of her kindness and nurturing behavior, I feel that she is a strong representative of his heart trying to connect with his mind. It is difficult, however, because his mind has lost structure of a human nature and because the heart contains such human emotions, it is difficult to relate and connect. Because his sister has to endure his presence, it is because they are a part of this family. The heart cannot be separated from the mind because they are part of one body, so it has to tolerate it. His body is the physical embodiment of his mind and how he is losing his humanity. His sister constantly feeding him connects to his heart nourishing his mind. His sister shows a sense of determination when continuing to feed Gregor even though she doesn’t feel comfortable in his presence. However this only makes Gregor's situation worse because as she feeds him, his body becomes bigger and more noticeable.

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  17. A reoccurring issue Gregor faces throughout the story are feelings of disconnection and isolation. I agree with Steffi's post on how Gregor's isolation is not only a result of him turning into a bug. As the story progresses, we learn that Gregor receives lots of pressure from his family and from himself. Because of this lingering pressure placed upon him, he has disconnected himself from the rest of the world and constantly works on fulfilling his duties. This feeling of isolation is rooted deep inside of him and it isn't until he turns into a bug that he begins to become aware of this feeling. We see this when he realizes that his voice is no longer the same. His inability to communicate with others shows how disconnected he feels. We communicate to get our thoughts and ideas through others yet Gregor can't even do this. Also, the reactions of his family and the manager immediately after seeing that Gregor has turned into a bug shows how isolated he is and foreshadows further isolation as the story progresses. The manager is horrified by what he sees and hurries away, despite Gregor chasing after him and begging him to put in a good word for him at the office. Gregor is not being listened to nor is he accepted by the people around him, deepening his isolation and disconnection from the rest of the world.

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  18. I like what Jessica said about Gregor being a prisoner to his family, and how the doors have come to symbolize a few different things. To add on to Jessica’s points of the doors symbolizing isolation and protection, I think they also show Gregor’s internal feelings. For his whole life, Gregor has had his feelings and thoughts trapped within himself, and within the doors of his room. Then, when his family finally becomes curious of these feelings because they are keeping him from being productive, they remove the doors an peer inside Gregor. What they see disgusts them though, leading to further isolation. Kafka writes, “Earlier, when the door had been barred, they had all wanted to come in to him; now, when he had opened one door and when the others had obviously been opened during the day, no one came anymore,” (27). Gregor’s family only takes interest in him because they are naturally curious of what is on the other side of the door, and then after opening the door and peering into Gregor’s soul, see no need to come anymore. I think that this might show a universal human weakness in that we tend to find out about people out of curiosity and for personal gain, and when we get these things we leave others vulnerable and alone with their problems unsolved. Gregor is left helpless after his family isn’t satisfied with who he is.

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  19. Kafka repeats the images of family and the relationship that Gregor has with his family. It is evident that he suffers from the shame and sorrow that he has casted upon his family over his incident with his job. Most importantly, the fact that his family turns their back on him, and kind of just forget about him creates an emptiness in Gregor. Astonishingly enough, at one point it seems like his family is punishing Gregor, by feeding him the leftovers from dinner, such emphasis goes into this meal aspect, that Gregor is subdued to eat alone in his empty room. The tradition of family quickly changes, and it is infact broken at the sight of a son being alienated because of his inability to carry the weight and support his family. Gregor fails his parents once. and he is doomed forever; a once hard working man, who dedicated his life to the well being of his family, fails, and is stepped on by the ones he worked hard for. The true opposite of what family should be, in times of struggle and hardship they turn their back on Gregor. Kafka writes, “Gregor’s only concern had been to devote everything he had in order to allow his family to forget as quickly as possible the business misfortune which had brought them all into a state of complete hopelessness” (Kafka 32). This demonstrates the inner depressed feeling that Gregor feels, as he realizes that all his hard work has been invaluable to his family and instead of making them proud, he has shamed them. The abandonment from family, creates an emptiness in Gregor that only results in him feeling locked in and like a disgusting incompetent creature.

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  20. I agree with Hannah's idea on how Gregor portrays his situation by looking out the window. I feel that he often uses the weather outside to reflect how he is feeling. He feels trapped in his own emotions which haven't seem to change. When he realized he was a bug, he did not seem to care. Gregor continues to focus on what Mr. Manager thinks of him. Gregor continues to push for Mr. Manager's approval and this starts to drive him mad. Gregor's perspective and his work continues to be the center of his mind. His mindset is hard to fix because all he focuses on is work, work, work. The reason to work is for his family. His family is the core to all his issues. They were not able to really accept him in the beginning for it scared them. Gregor still did not realize how shocking his state of being was. He tried to continue on his life like nothing happened which did not work very well for everyone else. Gregor has not changed since the beginning of the book which shows how hard it is to balance the three parts in life. The mind, heart and body. His mind is controlling his heart and body. So much that he doesn't even realize that he is a bug and he is not being mindful of his own needs and feelings.

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  21. One thing that is changing over the course of the novella is the control he has over his body. His body itself, however, has not. This shows that when put in tough situations, what changes is yourself rather than your predicament. In this case, his predicament is his view of himself in society as an outcast and its physical manifestation in hin insect body. This does not change, ever since he woke up his small pathetic legs and awkward body have been consistent. However, what has changed is his ability to control it. This shows that despite being in the same situation he begins to view it differently. He goes about menial tasks such as moving his legs at all as if they were the worst thing in the beginning but later talks about walking as norma. This progression represents not his literal gain of proprioception but to his mental shift into thinking things are normal when in fact they have not changed at all. Therefore this is Kafka’s way of saying that although we internalize how we view ourselves in terms of society shifts our perspective so that we don’t see it as bad and maybe even have control over feeble insect limbs, out fundamental problem is still unchanged.

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  22. Like Fedor said, Gregor is changing, becoming less human and slowly metamorphosing into a bug; thinking, eating, and behaving like a bug. But while he literally changes, his environment surrounding him, both near him in the home, and outside the home stays the same. Outside was always described to be dreary, with the hospital across the ‘narrow’ street from him with its uniform windows and gray bland spaces. This sets a depressive mood for readers and the neighborhood in which he lives in can be seen to represent society as a whole, as it is the place in which this story takes place. For Kafka, society is something that doesn’t allow for personal expression and claims a burden on humanity, as shown through the suffocating uniform found outside among the monotonous grays which are commonly known to make one feel heavy and in capitated. Gregor’s immediate environment doesn’t change either, and in the beginning was dark and stuffy and later on is still the same, “... underneath around Gregor it was dark (25).” Gregor has the choice of letting in certain amounts of light into his life, yet along with society, he decided to live with the spectrum correlating to darkness. We can choose how we view the world and Gregor chooses a dark lens, but though he is a caring and responsible man, his choice is not one that Kafka agrees with and therefore this sweet awkward man, is a bug.

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  23. I agree with what Steffi and what Danielle have said about isolation playing a factor with Gregor's life. It is true that most of his family including his manager have segregated him due to his preposterous figure - isolating him where he feels repelled by his own family and the reality with society. His family confused, scared, detaching him from their minds as his bug-like figure is present within the house. But sometimes, that isolation actually became a sort of remedy for him as soon as Gregor's sister, Grete, helped him through his sheltered situation right now. Grete, who was first able to sense empathy towards her own brother, was able to emphasize her care for him as she tended to his needs. This basically relates to how the mind connects with the heart because right when Gregor's parents discovered his grotesque figure, his mind and stature is isolated but when he found someone like his sister that was caring the responsibility to help him out, Gregor feels the sensation of gratefulness lingering. isolation is often viewed as a confinement and as for Gregor feeling that isolation, he learns to let go of that hindrance as he feels more free with the care and support his sister is providing.

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  24. I agree with Nathan that something that is changing throughout Kafka's novella is the relationship that he has with his family, however I believe that not only his relationship with his family has changed but also the relationship that his family has with each other. Gregor's metamorphose is causing him to become more isolated form the rest of his family due to the fear and disgust they feel from him to the point that he has to hide himself from his own family. He knows that when his sister enters the room to feed him she can't help but feel disgust for his physical form so he decides to hide himself from her, "In order to spare her even the sight, one day he dragged the sheet on his back onto the couch (this task took him four hours) and arranged it in such way from a way that he was completely concealed..." (Kafka 37). When Kafka explains how Gregor was "completely concealed" it shows how Gregor was complete isolating himself rather than just moving under the couch to hide from his sister because he now wasn't visible. All this is a negative result of his metamorphosis, however there are positive sides to this. For example; Gregor's sister starts taking care of him and cleaning his room despite of her young age, "... he often heard how they fully acknowledged his sister's present work; whereas, earlier they had often got annoyed at his sister because she had seemed to them a somewhat useless young woman"(Kafka 38). His sister's relationship with his parents has improved due to his change because as Kafka said, they would consider her "useless", but now that she helped Gregor they would praise her for doing such a job they wouldn't dare do, showing how Gregor's metamorphosis has changed his sister's relationship with his parents in a positive way.

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  25. The image of social status has started to become a reoccurring theme in the novella. One instance Kafka shows this in the form of how Gregor addresses people of power. Gregor says Mr. Manager, Chief, and Mr. Chairman. But what I found interesting is that he only calls them by their titles. We actually don’t know their names. “ Directly across on the opposite wall hung a photograph of Gregor from the tome of his military service; it was a picture of him as a lieutenant, as he, smiling and worry-free, with his hand on his sword, demanded respect from his bearing and uniform (Pg 17)” This shows how much the “look” effects Gergor’s life. He was depicted as a proud warrior, who worked many hours to ensure that his family is happy, with a good food and shelter. He was a figure that was high on the social ladder, in which he could secure good work. But once Gregor changed into a monster insect. He lost the physical demeanor which lead to many of his successes. Over night he became a liability to his family. Now his employer, mother, and father have broken all relations with him. They locked him inside his room and have tried to block out his presents.

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  26. Something that has changed in the novella is how Gregor is treated by his family. In the beginning of the novella, it is obvious that Gregor is the type of person to think through situations and come up with a logical answer or solution. Most of the time, those who think more logically are less social and thus have less connections with others, including family. As a result of Gregor’s logical thinking, he seems to be somewhat disconnected from his family, though they seem to have some understanding of how Gregor behaves based on his mentality. For example, since Gregor is very attached to his work, they notice that he always takes the early train to arrive there on time. When Gregor transformed into a bug (which they were unaware of) and was taking longer than usual, they began to worry. This shows that even though Gregor seems to be disconnected from his family, they still understand him at some level which Gregor is thankful for. When the family sees how Gregor has changed, though, they immediately change from understanding to fearing Gregor (which is completely understandable when your son has changed into a giant insect). The mother begins to cry in fear and the father grabs a cane to scare Gregor back into his room. This shows the change in how Gregor is treated by his family.

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  27. Dina Kharag
    I agree with Nathan that his family is the major factor to Gregor’s isolation. In the novella, “The Metamorphosis”, Kafka demonstrates how this isolation affects Gregor. For one thing, isolation was forced onto him by his parents not wanting to deal with him after he changed into a bug. This is present when Gregor’s father was forcing Gregor to go back into his room, “With his left hand, his father picked up a large newspaper from the table and, stamping his feet on the floor, he set out to drive out Gregor back into his room by waving the cane and the newspaper” (Kafka pg 21). This affects Gregor in a negative way because Gregor always felt that by focusing on his job and getting the money his family financially needed was what his family wanted from him. But this situation is different because Gregor, for the first time, steps out of his comfort zone to do what he feels is the right. Unfortunately, he gets stopped by his family right away to keep him confined under their thumbs. His father even saw his son to be animal like with using a “newspaper” and a “cane” to escort Gregor to his room. This makes Gregor even more isolated as he discovers that he’s the only person in the house treated as important only because of his job. Without it, he would always be seen in his family’s eyes as a disgusting bug.

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  28. Throughout the book, Gregor's family definitely changed the way they think about Gregor. Gregor's change not only affected himself, but also the family. Now that Gregor is a bug, his family somewhat turned away from him. His parents would not come into his room for weeks. Only his sister, still had sympathy for him, she brought Gregor food and cleaned up after him. This potentially could demonstrate who in the family cares about Gregor the most. All of these new relationships are defiantly a change from the relationships before Gregor turned into a bug. Also, now that he is a bug, Gregor cannot attend his job and cannot bring in his earnings to support the family. This is mentioned in the novella when Gregor hear his dad talk about the financial situation. Now that Gregor cannot support the family with his income, the family will go through changes in their financial state. This demonstrates another change that occurred since the transformation. The other important change is how Gregor's mentality and habits have changed dramatically. He now has different tastes, and sense of smell. Also, he seems to be more afraid of his surroundings. He now thinks differently about what goes on around him. All his new changes in his character suggest to those of a bug. So by turning into a bug, Gregor not only physically changed but also mentally.

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  29. Throughout the book, Gregor's family definitely changed the way they think about Gregor. Gregor's change not only affected himself, but also the family. Now that Gregor is a bug, his family somewhat turned away from him. His parents would not come into his room for weeks. Only his sister, still had sympathy for him, she brought Gregor food and cleaned up after him. This potentially could demonstrate who in the family cares about Gregor the most. All of these new relationships are defiantly a change from the relationships before Gregor turned into a bug. Also, now that he is a bug, Gregor cannot attend his job and cannot bring in his earnings to support the family. This is mentioned in the novella when Gregor hear his dad talk about the financial situation. Now that Gregor cannot support the family with his income, the family will go through changes in their financial state. This demonstrates another change that occurred since the transformation. The other important change is how Gregor's mentality and habits have changed dramatically. He now has different tastes, and sense of smell. Also, he seems to be more afraid of his surroundings. He now thinks differently about what goes on around him. All his new changes in his character suggest to those of a bug. So by turning into a bug, Gregor not only physically changed but also mentally.

    ReplyDelete