Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis And The Issue Of Bullying

Bullying has been a social issue for a very long time. It is used to tear people down for either personal gain or just for the sake of it. It is a very common thing that is happening. Some will also bully just because the person they are bullying doesn’t think, talk, or look like them. People bully by either saying hurtful things or hurting them physically. People sometimes do not truly understand the problem of bullying others. They can see it as a game without consequences. The continuing issue of bullying throughout history and that is shown in Franz Kafka's 'Metamorphosis' and is a hurtful way to treat people.

Bullying is mainly known for being in school environments, but it is everywhere. In Psychology Today’s article entitled “Bullying”, it is stated that a person who bullies is made. When the signs of aggression are not properly handled in someone, they will continue to become more and more aggressive. Thus, a person who acts poorly to others is created.

Bullying has been around for a very long time. It has been used in many forms and many in situations. It has never gone away and doesn’t seem like it will. There is no real date when it started. All that is known, is that it has been in this world since pretty much the beginning and that it's only gotten worse. It does, however, start around the time a person is still learning how to act and behave. The bullying behavior will carry on throughout their lives and continue to spread into different environments. 1838 seems to be when the issue started gaining recognition and when people spoke about it. Throughout the years more research and studies were being made in the hope to figure out the reasons behind it. As the years went on it developed into a new form with the release of the internet that is called cyberbullying. The issue continues to this day.

A person who is bullied or has experienced aggressive behavior of some sort from someone will have long-lasting effects. In an article by Sherri Gordon on VeryWellFamily, she explains that it can affect someone socially making it hard for them to build friendships. It continues by saying that it can also have a very negative effect on one's self- esteem and self- worth. Bullying can also have other effects on its victims such as trust issues and believing things that are not true about themselves. They can also experience or develop mental issues and disorders. Bullying can truly have a very horrible effect on people.

In a story by Franz Kafka entitled “Metamorphosis”, the main character, Gregor, experiences a strange occurrence turning him into a bug-like creature. All his family members, except his sister, treat him poorly and in a bully like way. His father at one point threw apples at Gregor. Gregor never harmed anyone. His family was just not accepting of his new form and he received backlash and bad treatment. Gregor did have a rough time from all the bullying his family did to him. He luckily still had his sister who treated him better than the rest.

In Boyd Tonkin’s article “A Bugs Life” on ProQuest, He explains that Kafka used to be picked on quite a bit as well. He explains that Kafka was insecure about his height and would try to make himself appear shorter. It also says that Kafka never felt good enough for his family, especially his father. His father would tell him that he needed to have qualities to be what he would call a “true Kafka”. This, of course, it would hurt Kafka and his self-esteem. In the end, Kafka would always remember these things and continue to affect his writing.

All the bullying behavior Kafka had received affected his writing. He put his bullying experiences into Metamorphosis, but there is another story by Kafka called “The Trial” that he incorporates bullying into as well. This story talks about how people in power could also bully as well. He says that they do it because it is easy for them and they will usually win. Kafka also explains that they will also do it because there won't be any consequences for them. They can get away with it while getting what they wanted.

The Bible does not say much about bullying alone. It does, however, teach how people should treat each other. There are many verses about how we should be considering and serving other people. Not to try and hurt others on purpose for no good reason. God tells us to treat each other like how we would want to be treated. He did not call us to harass or hurt other people. There is no reason to hate on others because He says we are supposed to have peace and to love without wanting anything in return. He wants us to act in a way that will bring glory to Him.

God did not want people to treat each other badly. He tells us to be kind and love one another. He also says that we should love one another like Jesus. In Mark 12:31, it tells us to “love our neighbor as yourself”. Also in 1 John 4:20, it says “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen”.

There are many more verses about how we should treat the people around us. In the article on Churchleaders by Neal Hardin, it gives a list of ways people can respond in a way that can help prevent bullying from continuing. It says we should say something to someone for guidance and help in a situation of bullying. We should know who we are in Christ and act on it in a Christian way. We should not be quick to get angry or act in a way that would be just as bad as bullying. Even if someone is guilty of bullying, we shouldn't try to get back at the person. We need to remember that no one is perfect and that everyone makes mistakes.

If the bullying victim acts in a kind and peaceful way, it will make more of an impact instead of an act of revenge or redirecting the behavior back to the person.

Bullying does have truly bad effects on people. You can see how it affected Kafka, his work and people today. That's why we should handle the situation in a way that would show the person that is bullying see they can do good. They should not tell them that they are a horrible person because it can make the person that is the bully think they can not improve. It can leave them hopeless and there would never be a change in that person. Having a good heart and trying to show others to also have one can make more of an impact. Seeing all the effects it had on Franz Kafka and his writing shows it really can hurt a person when you treat them badly. If you can help guide the person to not be a bully. In the end, it can make a difference.

16 December 2021
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