Kafka’s Existential Hero In The Metamorphosis

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It begins with Franz Kafka’s masterpiece, ‘The Metamorphosis,’ written in 1912 and is a wonderful masterpiece of psychology, sociology and existential anxiety has attracted the reader’s attention. Portrayed as an exploration of the outcast in European society, Kafka’s fiction is set as an alternate reality that is threatening, one always has the sense of an individual unfairly trapped in an absurd world, as he was. In pervert, the weirdness of this transformation or ‘change’ makes us evaluate Gregor’s role as the symbolic prototype of the Existential hero because the story was written from an existentialist viewpoint, proven by its emphasis on loneliness, isolation, and the autonomy of one’s existence.

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Gregor lived in an absurd world full of suffering and peculiarity. After Gregor inexplicably woke up one morning as a ‘monstrous vermin,’ he remarked that he ‘saw no way of bringing peace and order into this mindless motion’ and that all his efforts to go about his daily routine were for naught’. Gregor is also alienated from his humanity and his body. He wakes up and is somehow transformed into a bug. This puts to effect of what he used to do as a human being. He notices when he can’t open the door to his room and remember he needs to get to work before he is late. His family relies on him to bring home the money in the family but now that he can’t go to work his family just thinks he isn’t worth anything now. His sister started taking care of him at the beginning but when she quit and he then had to cover himself with a sheet he didn’t feel wanted and he died.

‘The Metamorphosis’ is definitely an appropriate title for Franz Kafka’s novella. At first, the story seems to be confusing and ridiculous, but toward the end of the story, the true meaning of the tale becomes clearer off what the author has intended for us to know. Gregor has been working as a traveling agent, and he has not missed a single day of work in five years. He knows that his family is in a severe debt, and he has set his mind to paying it off. As Gregor works more and more, he becomes less attached to his parents. Gregor has sacrificed going out, having friends, and having time for himself in order to give his family a better life. Meanwhile, the Samsa family just sits around at their home and wait for Gregor to provide.

The first idea that we learn from Gregor, the main character in Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, is that he is a pretty pathetic person with little hope of accomplishing anything great in other words saying he is not worth living life. Gregor’s transformation was so random, that you might find yourself digging around in the story to find out how such an ordinary guy ended up with such a despicable fate. This unselfishness can be seen most readily in Gregor’s work ethic. Gregor took a job with his father’s creditor, before even consulting with his family. Even though he was dissatisfied with his job he still manage to keep supporting his family. Gregor’s attitude toward his transformation seems hopelessly mundane, yet instead of freaking out that he’s a bug, he’s busy worried about missing his train to work. Here we gain an understanding that Gregor was the most unselfish character in the story and the most deserving of respect. Gregor serving his parents and sister and is sacrificing much for his family. After Gregor’s metamorphosis into a roach, he continues to show greater concern for his family than for himself, while his family does not acknowledge concern or love for him, his attitude toward his extraordinary transformation actually enables him to remain open to some of the cooler features of his new body. The situation in which he is in has thrust force him to consider and reflect upon his existence in a way that he wouldn’t be able to if he were caught up in the hurly-burly of everyday life.

As we all know that Gregor is no longer human and is unable to provide for the family. Throughout the story, transformation is a very important topic not only for Gregor but also for his sister Grete. Grete seems to be the only one person who cares about her brother. All other members of his family must now get jobs. His father came out of retirement to work as a bank messenger in order to earn additional money Gregor would be earning. His mother sews clothes to later sell. Lastly, possibly the character who changed the most is Grete takes a job as a salesgirl. From this when can see that not only Gregor had a transformation but every single member of his family. Grete was described as being lazy, sleeping late, and not doing much but matures and takes on responsibility for the family. For Gregor, that transformation is into an insect, while his family transforms into harder working folk. All the trouble Gregor had gone through in order to provide for his family was unappreciated, and perhaps his transformation was a necessary sacrifice for the family to survive.

Gregor lived in an absurd world full of suffering and peculiarity. After Gregor inexplicably woke up one morning as a ‘monstrous vermin,’ he remarked that he ‘saw no way of bringing peace and order into this mindless motion’ and that all his efforts to go about his daily routine were for naught’. If Gregor’s predicament is taken to be symbolic of mankind’s, then this effort indicates the fundamental struggle of each individual against the alien and hostile world. This fundamental realization that he was entirely helpless in the world came after his reconciliation with the fact that ‘as for adopting another profession, he was not only too old for that but too fanatically devoted to fasting’ and led him into a deep depression, which led to his death. And consequently, Kafka never wrote a long novel; he never seemed to have the time. I often wonder if that is for the best — I sense a longer work would not have the same affect upon readers as does a short piece in Kafka’s style. Emotionally, readers reach a limit, and I think Kafka knew intuitively where that limit was.

Gregor’s family is impressed with his ability to provide for them. He is making enough money to have hired a cook and a servant. He is even thinking about sending his sister to the conservatorium to enhance what he believes to be musical talents. And sure, he’s a little disgusted in the beginning, but as he warms up to some of his new skills, he experiences pleasure, happiness, even a Zen-like state of empty contemplation. Even when he’s tormented by anxiety, the natural impulses of his insect body afford him some relief. Right before his death, he feels all kinds of warm and fuzzy feelings about his family. He’s traveled – or scuttled – far from the disgruntled salesman we get at the start of the story. Despite his pathetic condition, he seems more human and humane than the other characters in the story. Family variations in deformation of Kafka In ‘deformation’ of Franz Kafka, despite the dramatic physical change, the real nature of Gregor Samsa is negligible. Gregor’s life before pervertation was limited to working and taking care of the family. As a travel salesman, Gregor has had a long and difficult job and did not have much time to experience ‘life’.Gregor is always ready to go out on his rounds as early as possible, never taking breaks. When he returns from his rounds, the other employees are still eating breakfast. In all of the five years he has worked for his father’s creditor, he has never once been absent. Except when he becomes a cockroach, which would normally be good excuse for missing work.Gregor has sacrificed a social life for his work. Gregor Samsa is alienated from his job because he had never missed work before in many years. He turned into an insect and therefore could not attend work. The head chief then came to check on him and he wasn’t ready for what he saw. Jim Stark is alienated from his job also in that his job being school. He is the new guy in town and doesn’t have many friends. You can tell he is new because he steps on the school emblem on the first day. He is, in a way an outcast at his school. His only friend is a guy named Plato and I wouldn’t consider him normal. I think that Jim and Buzz are the same kind of people and that is why they can not be friends.

the novel presumes to makes sense, fully aware that life doesn’t make sense. This “bad faith” is its “secret power.” This view is direct so let’s not sugarcoat his fate here. Gregor dies a vermin, with an apple rotting in his back, covered in trash, having wasted away to a shriveled little shell of a thing. He doesn’t even get the dignity of a proper burial. Gregor’s dismal fate illustrates both the rewards and the sacrifices of defying social convention and living an extraordinary life. The human condition, for Kafka, is well beyond tragic or depressed. It is “absurd.” Only two responses are feasible in the face of man’s Sisyphean fate: suicide or rebellion. and on excavating the philological, literary, and philosophical foundations of each of his metaphors, also points out that “some huge spires towering over Kafka territory – his sense of shame and guilt, are perceived.    

16 December 2021

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