Thursday, April 3, 2014

♬ Ch-ch-ch-changes! Turn and Face the Strange! Ch-ch-changes! ♬♩♪

Kafka's The Metamorphosis goes over a multitude of changes, like the title itself. The first notable change that occurs in the story is found within the very first paragraph. The main character, Gregor Samsa, has turned into a monstrous bug. "He discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug."(Kafka 3). Now, Gregor only thinks he was a bug in a dream he had, he doesn't actually fully realize the predicament he is in. This is basically how the entire first part goes, Gregor running around, under the impression that he's just a bit sick and late for work. In the second part of The Metamorphosis, Gregor has been forcefully pushed by his father and is now sporting a large scar down his side. He realizes that his sister has left out a bowl of milk, his favorite drink, for him to drink. "For there stood a bowl filled with sweetened milk, in which swam tiny pieces of white bread."(Kafka 27). He is overjoyed to find the milk, and immediately runs over to enjoy it. Yet, after Gregor has sampled the usually wonderful mixture, he realizes it no longer tastes as good to him. "Because the milk, which otherwise was his favorite drink and which his sister had certainly placed there for that rea- son, did not appeal to him at all."(Kafka 28). He must have lost all sense of taste or something similar, because his love for the milk mixture has disappeared almost completely. Change is doing all it can to affect Gregor's life, and it's not all that good.

Change isn't only messing with Gregor, during the entire time Gregor is a bug, Gregor's father, Mr. Samsa, isn't treating Gregor like family. It is kind of understandable, but Gregor doesn't really pay much mind to it. "Then his father gave him one really strong liberating push from behind, and he scurried, bleed- ing severely, far into the interior of his room. The door was slammed shut with the cane, and finally it was quiet."(Kafka 26). Mr. Samsa hit the buggified version of his son with his cane, causing Gregor to scurry away, bleeding. Mr. Samsa just gets worse and worse, becoming the epitome of cruelty throughout the whole rest of the book. At one point, after Mr. Samsa has come home and seen Gregor on the wall, he throws an apple at him, causing it to get lodged in his back and make Gregor fall to the ground in pain. "However another thrown immediately after that one drove into Gregor’s back really hard."(Kafka 51-52). Mr. Samsa basically just attempted to kill his son, and Gregor is left in excruciating pain for quite a while. This apple that he had thrown eventually causes Gregor's death, and the family is left without him. "Becoming weaker and weaker and would finally go away completely. The rotten apple in his back and the inflamed surrounding area, entirely covered with white dust, he hardly noticed."(Kafka 71). Gregor thinks about how his problem has affected his entire family, and lets his body give up, ultimately killing him.

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