Asynchronous Discussion (June 29th)

Please share your thoughts on a passage from Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and respond to your classmates’ ideas at least 5 times. 

Please post and contribute to the discussion before the end of the day.

76 thoughts on “Asynchronous Discussion (June 29th)

  1. Eathan Wysoki

    Gregor wakes up one morning and sees he has turned into a bug. His family is in disbelief with the situation. Both Gregor’s parents don’t handle the situation well. His dad kicks him and throws apples at him, while his mother faints each time she sees her bug son. However, the main character’s sister tries to care for her brother. She gives him water, and moves furniture so that the bug can have more room to crawl around.

    In a way, the author develops a story very similar to his own life. According to the bibliography about Frank Kafka, “Kafka had a difficult relationship with his father, a self-made man who could not take his son’s writing seriously” (Frank Kafka 202). Similarly, in the story Mr. Samsa, Gregor’s father, does not accept Gregor when he turns into a bug. In the first instance, when the bug’s family discovers his transformation, Mr. Samsa is angry about the situation. “Gregor’s father clenched his fist with a hostile grimace, as if he intended to thrust Gregor back into his room, then glanced uncertainly about the living room, shaded his eyes with his hands, and wept until his mighty chest shook” (The Metamorphosis 211). Another moment, the reader learns that the father abuses his alien son by throwing apples at him, “all at once something flew to the rug beside him, casually flung, and rolled across his path. It was an apple; and already a second one came flying after it; in horror, Gregor stopped in his tracks; there was no point continuing to run now that his father had decided to bombard him” (The Metamorphosis 225).

    In his real life, Kafka hated his job and thought of himself as a failure. It is very possible, Kafka wrote this story as an escape where in his fantasy he made a character that could escape his job when he turned into a bug. At the same time, Kafka’s father in real life was disappointed in him. Also in the story, Gregor’s dad is unpleased and unaccepting of his son.

    This story fits in well to Modernism. It makes life appear strange in a metaphorical way. This story represents family relationship and social roles. Here the son, Gregor, is holding his family together. He was their source of income until he became a bug. Following that, he is unaccepted by the majority of his family because they cannot rely on him.

    In what other way does this story relate to Kafka’s real life?
    How else does this story relate to modernism?

    1. Shahnewaz Khan

      I liked how you included the fact about Kafka’s personal life of how his father contributes to the story as well. This story relates to modernism since Gregor’s situation, as a lonely traveling salesman, reflects a common Modernist concern about contemporary society’s alienating consequences. The narrative employs the stream-of-consciousness approach, as do other Modernist works, to depict the psychological complexity of its characters.

    2. Li Bin Lin

      I also believe the story relates to the author’s real life. I think Gregor turning into a bug relates to how Kafka feels about himself, like he doesn’t belong.

    3. Anthony Funes-Quick

      Hello Eathan,
      Upon reading your reply i was further able to make deeper connections. I liked how you made the connection to modernism in your response. It seems that Kafka draws from his own personal experiences to structure the plot around Gregor. In my opinion this makes the story more realistic.
      Thank you for your response.

    4. Jason Pastuizaca

      this truly reflects to kafka as he was lonely, unhappy and put his emotions, how he truly felt into the story and what he consider as. Also despite how he was truly disliked by his own father who never gave him affection and from my point of view they all sided with one person and which was their dad and decided to remove gregor from the family picture.

  2. Shahnewaz Khan

    Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” is a tense and intriguing novel that leaves the reader with more thoughts than explanations. It features Gregor Samsa, a traveling salesman who awakens to find himself turned into a giant insect. Unfortunately, things only grow worse from there, and his final days are characterized by remorse, misery, and terror. Many of the basic aspects of Existentialism are embodied in Kafka’s depiction of Gregor’s position. This is a philosophical and artistic movement centered on the notion that humans are in charge of determining the meaning of their lives.

    The psychological barrier that Gregor’s transformation creates between him and everyone around him is the most significant effect of his transformation. Gregor’s transformation not only separates him physically and emotionally from his family, but from humanity in general, to the point where he refers to it as his imprisonment. The narrator mentions, “To spare her from even these glimpses, he dragged the sheet to the sofa on his back one day—this required four hours’ work—and laid it in such a way as to conceal himself entirely, so the sister could not see him even if she stooped down” (The Metamorphosis 221). Gregor realizes that his look still unsettles his sister around a month after he transforms into a bug. The narrator reveals that even when Gregor hides beneath the couch, she can get a glimpse of his head, so he starts hiding behind a sheet to keep her from seeing any of him. Gregor alienates himself farther from his family out of love for them, despite his desire to be a part of them. He spends practically all of his time after his metamorphosis in his room, with his door shut, and has little contact with other people. He is unable to communicate with anyone else. His change effectively removes him from the rest of humanity, as he is no longer human. He has effectively cut himself off from everyone around him, especially those he loves about.

    Gregor’s thoughts begin to shift in response to his physiological demands and desires as he adjusts to his new body. In other words, his mind and body are still conflicted. The narrator states, “Gregor had no idea what excuse was used that first morning to put off the doctor and locksmith, because as no one could understand him, no one thought, including the sister, that he could understand them, and so he had to content himself, whenever his sister was in the room, with hearing a sigh now and then or an appeal to the saints” (The Metamorphosis 217). As Gregor grows acquainted to his new existence as an insect, he learns to enjoy the few things he can do, such as eating and listening in on his family. If he first tries to converse with his family, he rapidly finds that no one can understand him, even though he can comprehend them. While his family may believe he is unaware of his surroundings, his knowledge of them and his family’s attitudes toward him underline the loneliness of his new life.

    Furthermore, Gregor is detached from his profession, humanity, family, and even his body prior to his change, as evidenced by the fact that he hardly recognizes his transition. Gregor feels entirely separated from his room and surroundings after his transformation. The Metamorphosis serves as a striking critique of the present social order’s alienation.

    My question for the class is: Why do you think Kafka specifically chose Gregor to turn into an insect rather than other animals?

    1. Alice Suazo

      Kafka perhaps chose for Gregor to become an insect, a roach at that, to emphasize the perspective of the people around him. After all, no one likes roaches. Perhaps, this use of imagery works to emphasize him and his state as that of a pest. Even, perhaps, it is use to present him as an intruder and burden.

    2. Midiam F Diaz (She/Her)

      Hi Shahnewaz,

      That’s a great point! when you said, “While his family may believe he is unaware of his surroundings, his knowledge of them and his family’s attitudes toward him underline the loneliness of his new life.” I did not interpret it that way, I thought they were upset with his transition because he wasn’t able to provide for the family anymore. which is why it felt as if they just ignored him.

    3. Mohammed Dadsi

      I think Kafka specifically chose Gregor to turn into an insect because insects are usually found disgusting by most people. People automatically run away from insects or even try to kill them and that is exactly what happened here. Gregor turned into something that is no longer useful and so everyone, even his family abandoned him and likely wished him dead.

    4. Anthony Funes-Quick

      Hello Shahnewaz,
      I enjoyed reading your response because I learned of a new term; “Existentialism”. I am unsure of the significance of turning Gregor into a bug, to me anything else might have worked. Nonetheless it appears Kafka has done a good job of illustrating humanity, and alienation.

  3. Midiam F Diaz (She/Her)

    In the Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, I found it very strange to read the transition from human to beetle to describe the isolation that followed his new life as an insect. Gregor Samsa woke up from what he thought was a dream of himself as a beetle. It was to his surprise he was a monstrous insect and he started to think as stated “What in the world has happened to me? He thought.” The metamorphosis effect of him transitioning from a human to an insect builds up all these emotions in him. The anxiety seemed to set in as he wondered how he would return to work as a traveling salesperson, which he despised of. He worked to pay off his parents’ debt. As stated in the text “If I didn’t have to hold back for my parent’s sake, I’d have given notice long ago—I’d march right up to him and given him a piece of my mind.” (Kafka 205). The next morning his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Samson, and his manager are trying to get him out of his room because they thought he was ill. Gregor opened the door and revealed himself. This is when we see the shift in everyone around him once he can no longer be able to provide. His manager shouting at him in disregard for him being ill, his mother and father not really speaking to him. He becomes isolated from his daily life but only his sister Grete who “tried to make as light as possible of whatever was disagreeable in her task, and as time went on, she succeeded, of course, more and more.” (Kafka 220).

    In this desperate situation the father finds a job, the mom takes up sewing and the sister does little odd jobs but even so, they are unable to make ends meet, so they rent out a room to a family and when they see Gregor, they ask to get out of paying rent because of the insect. Then suddenly Gregor dies. Leaving us with curiosity about his death and how did he even become an insect?

    1. Li Bin Lin

      Gregor’s father is uncaring towards him even though he helped financially before he turned into a bug. Even after Gregor turned into a bug, he was trying to help his father pay off his debt

    2. Arpit Sharma (He/Him)

      I found it interesting to read about how Gregor became isolated from his family and society after transforming into an insect. It seems that once he could not provide for them, they no longer wanted anything to do with him.

    3. Eathan Wysoki

      I like the way you incorporated some of the things we learned about Kafka’s writing, including that his writing set a tone of anxiety and nightmare like storylines.

    4. Justin Cardeno

      His death I believe was just a representation of his utter hopelessness and defeat by society human selfishness – even the few people he had left in the world wanted nothing more from him but death.

    5. Anthony Funes-Quick

      Hello Midiam,
      I think you did a great job of summarizing the plot of the story. I was able to make the connection; once you are unable to provide people abandon you. Initially I thought he was dreaming when he took the form of an insect. I myself do not understand the science behind his transformation.

  4. Anthony Funes-Quick

    The passage that resonates with me is, “Indeed he really did not want to open the door, to show himself and speak with the general manager; he was eager to learn what the others, who were so anxious to see him, would say when they finally laid eyes on him. If they recoiled in horror, Gregor could surrender all responsibility and rest easy. But if they accepted it calmly, that meant he too had no reason to get himself worked up, and if he hurried, he could still male it to the station by eight” (Kafka 210).

    It feels as if both Gregor and Kafka are living for other people. They are both struggling to find joy in the process of their current day-to-day life. In this passage it appears to illustrate the pressures individuals encounter as they struggle to survive in the modern era.

    As I read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, I felt empathy for the character Gregor. Gregor remained determined to contribute economically to his family, ultimately abandoning his own social and emotional needs. Gregor’s mental dialogue throughout the text demonstrates the harsh impact capitalism had on peoples’ psyche during the modern era. The tone of this text is depressing, and it shares similarities with the experiences of Kafka’s sad life. It seems to be a constant theme of goodness, perseverance, and humanity present throughout the text.

    Question: What does Gregor’s transformation into a monstrous insect symbolize? Can you make any connections from this text to society today?

    1. Alice Suazo

      One of the biggest connections that one can make between this story and the actuality is the fact that people tend to dehumanize disabled individuals a lot. There’s people who become disabled throughout their lifetime, making them seem as a burden to their family, friends, and just society as a whole since they are unable to provide for themselves or others. By that, they get dehumanized and even infantilized in some occasions.

    2. Arpit Sharma (He/Him)

      I think that the transformation of Gregor into a monstrous insect symbolizes the disconnection that people can feel from society. I believe there are many parallels between what is happening in the text and what is happening in the community today. People can feel isolated and alone, even when surrounded by others.

    3. Shahnewaz Khan

      I think that the insect that Gregor transforms into is a representation of his previous existence. His human daily activities were given a physical form. Once transformed, he discovered how much of a toll his career, family, friends, and financial concerns took on him in the real world.

    4. Midiam F Diaz (She/Her)

      Hi Anthony,
      I can make a connection to today’s society with illness. The changes we face in our daily lives for instance, when sick, when family members are ill, or an accident may occur we are forced to live with these changes. People around us are forced to adapt. some may comfort us and some may not. It can be an emotional roller coaster for both parties. Gregor is facing a dilemma it seems with his family and his new life as an insect.
      “There he remained the entire night, which he spent partly in a state of semi-sleep, out of which his hunger constantly woke him with a start, but partly in a state of worry and murky hopes, which all led to the conclusion that for the time being he would have to keep calm and with patience and the greatest consideration for his family tolerate the troubles which in his present condition he was now forced to cause them.” (Kafka 216).

    5. Mohammed Dadsi

      Gregor’s transformation into a monstrous insect symbolizes exactly how society sees you when you are no longer deemed useful. When you can no longer provide for others, nobody bats an eye in your direction anymore. Nobody even acknowledges your humanity. You are seen in the same light as a monster. A connection that I can make from this text to society today is that everyone is always quick to appreciate someone based on how much they can use them. Rather than respect and appreciate others for their personality, the base it off of their usefulness, which is dehumanizing.

    6. Justin Cardeno

      Gregor’s transformation in the roach specifically (rather than a cute bunny) illustrates how capitalist society sees him not as any life form worthy of any consideration or care, rather something that must be purged and stomped on with a boot.

  5. Amir Mendoza

    The story “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka is about a traveling salesman named Gregor who turns into an “monstrous insect”(Kafka 204). He notices that when he wakes up late for work to catch the train. Gregor is the main provider for his family so he starts to worry as to how he is going to provide for his family since he’s the main provider. He worries because he fears that the general manager is going to fire him and lose his job. Both his parents were shocked to see their son turn into an insect and his sister is the only one who cares for Gregor. His dad kicks and throws apples at Gregor and his mom just passes out every time she gets a glimpse of Gregor’s new insect body.
    Towards the end, Gregor checks on his mother, who passes out after looking at Gregor. His dad sees this and starts throwing apples at Gregor, which leads to an apple getting stuck on his back, to later get infected. As a result of this, and Gregor’s depression, it led to his death. I think that Gregor turning into an insect is symbolic because Gregor was constantly working and never taking any time for himself, which all the constant work he does and not thinking about himself could symbolize his stress of all that in him becoming an insect.
    The story fits into Modernism through the character of Gregor because in the beginning of the story, it mentions how all Gregor does is work and barely has any time for himself and during this time, working non-stop and not having much time for yourself just to provide for the family was a common thing. “The office is the only thing that boy ever thinks of. It really bothers me that he never goes out in the evening; he’s been back in the city an entire week now, but he’s spent every last evening at home. He sits at the table with us, quietly reading the newspaper, or else studies the timetables.”(Kafka 208-209)
    Question for the class: How did the parents get rid of Gregor’s insect body out of their house?

    1. Midiam F Diaz (She/Her)

      Hi Amir,

      I could not agree more Gregor worked a lot, he didn’t seems very happy with it. As stated in the text Gregor said “If didn’t have to hold back for my parent’s sake, I’d have given notice long ago—I’d march right up to him and given him a piece of my mind.” (Kafka 205). He only worked to support his family.
      to answer your question, I believe Gregor’s family didn’t get rid of the body the charwomen swept him to the side with her broom. That was all that was narrated in the story.

    2. Shahnewaz Khan

      That is a very interesting question. I haven’t even though of that at the end. I would probably say that his family probably moved out since they moved on with their lives after his death.

    3. Eathan Wysoki

      They never got rid of him from the house. They eventually were able to provide for themselves, but at the end of the story the bug dies from my understanding.

    4. Anthony Funes-Quick

      Hello Amir,
      Thank you for your response, because as I read I learned new details about the text. I wonder why Gregor was the only individual in the household to work, it seems unfair. I agree with the argument you mentioned regarding over working oneself. Certainly there are disastrous effects connected to over exerting ourselves.

    5. Jason Pastuizaca

      Good question, despite love or hate, gregor was part of the family but since they truly hated him, they probably left him there as how they ignored him when he was present.

  6. Li Bin Lin

    Gregor woke up finding himself turned into an insect. However, no one seemed to find it weird that he turned into a bug, everyone kept going on about their day. His sister Grete will bring food scraps for him. But due to Gregor turning into an insect, his family’s having finance issues because they relied on Gregor to work. “Already in the course of the first day, Gregor’s father explained the family’s finances and prospects not only to Gregor’s family but not his sister as well” (Kafka 218) “In addition, the money Gregor had brought home each month-he only ever kept a few gulden for himself” (Kafka 219) The family rented out 1 of the rooms to 3 gentlemen but when they saw Gregor, they told them that they will move out immediately “I give notice on my room effective immediately. It goes without saying that I will not pay a penny for the days I have spent here” (Kafka 232). Grete then suggested “It has to go” (Kafka 233). But Gregor ended up dying. It is kind of sad because Gregor hated his job, but he kept going for his family but once Gregor became a burden to them, they want to get rid of him and does not even consider him a human as Grete calls Gregor “it”.

    Question: Why do you think the author decided to end Gregor’s life?

    1. Alice Suazo

      The reason why Kafka decided to kill off Gregor is probably to emphasize the tragedy of his situation. In sense, Gregory’s story was meant to become sad and end sad just to amplify the seriousness of the themes that exist within the story. Not only did the story end with Gregory’s death, but also presented the joy and new beginnings of his family without him.

    2. Arpit Sharma (He/Him)

      Interestingly, many people seem to think that Gregor’s situation is strange, but nobody seems to find it odd that he turned into an insect. It makes me wonder if they were just in denial about what was happening or if they didn’t see him as a human anymore. I can understand the family wanting to get rid of him once he became a burden, but sadly, he died without anyone trying to help him.

    3. Mohammed Dadsi

      I think the author decided to end Gregor’s life to make the idea that no matter what life you live, you will always end up alone much more serious. The fact that he ended up dying shows how harsh, or in this case deadly, society can be in the way they treat you.

    4. Anthony Funes-Quick

      Hello Li,
      I liked how you mentioned the families disregard for Gregor’s humanity. I find the way the family acts toward him to be inhumane. I think the author ended Gregor’s life because of how miserable and disconnected he was to society. It is evident that Gregor was slowly starting to find meaning in his day to day life, something dramatic was inevitable.

    5. Jason Pastuizaca

      to end the conflict, and to alert readers a lesson about this story and it can relate to real life.

  7. Mohammed Dadsi

    This reading was very depressing, as, aside from the obvious empathy one would feel for Gregor and the way he was treated, it indirectly spoke about issues that are very common within our society today. Gregor was a normal person working a normal job with a normal family before everything happened. Once the metamorphosis occurred, his entire life changed in the blink of an eye. He got fired from his job, he can no longer communicate with others, but most importantly, his family began treating him differently. This story heavily involved the theme of Alienation, and how conditional everyone’s appreciation of and relationship with you is. In Part III, the narrator states “‘It has to go,’ Gregor’s sister cried out, “that’s the only way, Father. You just have to try to get rid of the notion that this thing is Gregor. The real disaster is that we’ve believed this for so long’” (Kafka 233). Through this, we see the best example of alienation and abandonment in this story. Gregor’s sister Grete, one of the only people who truly cared about him and the only person who would genuinely help him and feed him has turned on him. Not only has she alienated him, she even goes as far as to not even call him “him”. She does not acknowledge his humanity any longer and instead calls her brother an “it” over and over again. Grete was one of the only people that Gregor truly appreciated and now she wants him gone. This goes to show that even your closest family members will forget about you when you are no longer useful to them. It is human nature for all of our relationships to be conditional. Even those that we’ve been in our whole lives.

    My question is: Would the story have been different if Gregor had turned into an animal less disgusting than a cockroach? He would have still lost his humanity, but what difference would it make if he had turned into something like a cat rather than a cockroach?

    1. Alice Suazo

      The story would have definitely gone differently if he had not become a cockroach. In fact, even if he became an insect like a butterfly or a lady bug, he would have been better off that way. His transformation into a cockroach appears to emphasize his status of importance in the eyes of his family in moments of disability. Therefore, becoming something like a bar would have brought him less misery for sure.

  8. Alice Suazo

    This story was certainly shocking, or at the very least bizarre. The fact that there is such a strong use of symbolism and personification within this story to imply a deep message, makes it one of a kind. By using uncommon elements, Kafka paints a story that is actually pretty common. For instance, one can suggest that this story is about the dehumanization of people who became disabled during their life and how their condition progressively turned them into a “burden” for their family. Though in this situation Kafka presents a fictional scenario with supernatural elements, the story in itself is real. One section of the passage that stood out the most was where Greg’s sister says, “‘I am unwilling to utter my brother’s name before this creature, and therefore will say only: we have to try to get rid of it.’” (Kafka 233) At this point of the story, Greg is already seen as a burden by his family. His family do not put as much effort in taking care of him or his condition, and rather see him as trouble. This situation has gotten so bad that not even his family recognizes him anymore or tries to care for him. Such a thing illustrates a scenario that takes place in real life—an individual loses their utility for income and they just become a burden.
    One of the aspects of the story that needs to be noted is that Greg used to be the provider for his house which allowed his family to live somewhat comfortably. However, his family seems to forget about this as time goes by because he becomes more and more exhausting to take care of. A truly saddening story, indeed. In a sense, the text gives Greg the humanity that was stripped away from him within the story. Such a text makes sure to bring light to the feelings of real individuals who experience these circumstances. Surely, the fact the audience gets a sense of what Greg feels enhances the experience of reading the text as it gives a perspective the other characters can’t have.

    In what cases in actuality can we witness individuals get stripped away from their humanity?

    1. Arpit Sharma (He/Him)

      I see what you mean when you say that the story gives Greg the humanity stripped away from him within the report. I think that’s an exciting way of looking at it, making me appreciate the text even more.

    2. Mohammed Dadsi

      This is a very interesting question, as individuals can get stripped of their humanity in many ways, not just physically, how this story portrayed. People can just reach a point where nobody notices them any longer and they fail to acknowledge their existence. One’s humanity can also be stripped away from the when basic human rights such as freedom, thought, privacy and equal treatment are taken away from them by others.

    3. Justin Cardeno

      I can’t help but be reminded of life support situations (where you have no agency and are treated as a money drain) or otherwise terminal illnesses that go untreated due to financial hardship in America, where affording medical treatment sometimes means eviction, bankruptcy, or other inescapable debt.

  9. Alice Suazo

    I believe that Gregor’s death was the only way for him out of the situation he was in. At that point of the story, he was bound to die one way or another, his family wouldn’t have cared anyways. In a sense, his death only emphasizes the tragic elements of the story. If only he had known how to revert his metamorphosis, he wouldn’t have died.

  10. Arpit Sharma (He/Him)

    I was particularly struck by the passage in which Gregor Samsa reflects on his life and how it has led to his current predicament. He recalls how he used to be “a traveling salesman” who was “consumed by greed” and driven by a “feverish haste.” These days, he is stuck in his room, unable to work, and barely able to move. He reflects on how his life has changed so dramatically and how he is now “a miserable creature.” This passage really resonated with me because it demonstrates how quickly our lives can change and how we can end up in very different places than we ever expected. It also made me think about how we often take our health and our ability to work for granted. When we lose those things, it can be very difficult to adjust and find meaning in our lives.

    What do you think is the significance of the fact that Gregor turns into an insect?

    1. Shahnewaz Khan

      The psychological separation that Gregor’s metamorphosis causes from others around him is its most significant effect. He is actually no longer a member of the human race as a result of his change. He has essentially cut himself off from everyone, including the ones he cares about like Grete and his mother. Essentially, this sense of alienation came before his transformation. Later on, he recounts how his initial satisfaction in being able to provide for his family diminished after his parents started to anticipate it, and how this made him feel emotionally detached from them. In other words, the alienation brought on by Gregor’s transformation may be seen as a continuation of the alienation he already experienced on a personal level.

    2. Mohammed Dadsi

      I think the significance of Gregor turning into an insect is to show the true extent of how people will alienate you once you are no longer useful to them. I believe he chose an insect specifically because people are generally repulsed by all insects. Therefore, this is showing how much people no longer care for you at this point.

  11. Arpit Sharma (He/Him)

    I found Gregor’s death to be an unfortunate and depressing way to end the story. It seemed like he had finally found a way to accept and live with his new form, but then he died as no one cared about him.

  12. Midiam F Diaz (She/Her)

    Hi Alice,

    “Such a text makes sure to bring light to the feelings of real individuals who experience these circumstances.” As I read the story I made the same connection. Some people go through this transition when they are ill and can’t function the same way. In some way, it always feels like a burden to have people caring for you. Some may be disregarded like Gregor’s father was.

  13. Shahnewaz Khan

    Even though he is now physically restricted to one area, Gregor feels a sense of release as he scales the walls and roof of his chamber instead of moving around doing his duties. The gloomy humor in Kafka’s narrative seems to imply that modernity is so oppressive that, despite the fact that it results in death, this metamorphosis may be the only way for a modern person to be free.

  14. Ali Butt (he/him)

    The Metamorphosis, a novel written by Franz Kafka in the early 20th century, tells the story of Gregor Samsa’s transformation from a human to an insect and the difficulties he encounters as a result. His shift not only has an impact on him but also on his family, particularly his sister and father. In the story, there are many instances of both physical and behavioral metamorphosis that are depicted symbolically and literally. Kafka’s deft use of symbols fits his work’s allegorical style and well conveys the issue of adulthood and alienation. Gregor Samsa and the enormous insect both pass away at the conclusion of Kafka’s novel. A fresh, joyous change, however, begins with the end of this one. One such family is the Gregors, who experience a great sense of relief as though a heavy burden has been lifted off of them and they can now begin a new life. I found this novel very depressing and I feel awful for Gregor because he really wanted to be there for his family and he put everything to the side for that even his own needs.

    Question: Do you think Gregor’s death was the best for him?

    1. Amir Mendoza

      Hello Ali that is a good question, I think it was best for him to die because all he did was work and he was probably going to work until his death.

    2. Jason Pastuizaca

      yes because it finally got him to be in peace, and not be surrounded with family member with whom he thought loved him.

  15. Justin Cardeno

    Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” follows Gregor Samsa, in his final few months of life after his transformation into an insectoid lifeform. The text leans heavily into metaphors and symbolism to explore how capitalism changes us and those around us, with the decline of his relationship with his family members taking center stage. The text, I feel, uses the family to represent families, but also capitalism at large in their poor treatment of those sick, injured, disabled, or otherwise unfit to participate in the money making machine of the workforce. As the story begins, his family makes small gestures, such as keeping him fed and experimenting with foods he likes, despite alienating him. However as time passes, his family becomes more unwelcoming, treating him as a houseplant that just exists, before eventually treating him as a subhuman beast, unwelcome in the home. While it may be said that these are simply stages of grief, the family seems to become more hostile as the begin to find their own employments, with their poor treatment peaking when a stream of income (their tenants) threaten to leave after realizing they live with a bugman. Having formerly been the breadwinner of the entire household, Gregor goes from being their savior to a curse, an anchor. Dead weight. This makes it clear the family treats him well not based off of a familial sense of duty, rather out of expectation that he will provide them with financial security and comfort. “They had become quite accustomed to it, both the family and Gregor as well. They took the money with thanks, and he happily surrendered it, but the special warmth was no longer present”

    The text also illustrates how individual metamorphosize themselves, in this case not just how Gregor’s family members change, but possibly how capitalism and his position as a high earner have possibly transformed HIM. As explored in “Good Woman of Setzuan,” it is near impossible for one pure of heart to succeed under capitalism, and with Gregor’s success as a salesman, comes questions of those served by him. This idea is further echoed by “Life of Frederick Douglass” and “Bartleby the Scrivener,” texts that both explore the idea that even those previously pure and virtuous are driven to conform to the exploitative nature of capitalism, and exploit others.

    What significance does becoming an insect specifically hold? Why not a mammal? What drives metamorphosis?

  16. Justin Cardeno

    I believe it shows how capitalism causes all of us to be selfish and uncaring. Decades of family bonds are forgotten when one becomes an inconvenience. Unfortunately this is a problem even in our modern world, with many treated poorly or as an inconvenience when they are disabled or unable to work. Gregor death was not best for him, it was the easiest route for his family.

  17. Jason Pastuizaca

    Reading this story made me question a lot of things. Gregor woke up one day and transformed into a bug which spooked me out and made me curious about what he meant and his vision as he narrated the story. Gregor hated his job and didn’t really enjoy anything in particular. Gregor was a hardworking guy who provided for his family, and things turned upside down when he left his job. His dad was stressing over their financial problems since Gregor was the person who brought food to the table. His family began to ignore him, viewed him negatively, and wanted to permanently remove Gregor from their place and life. After reading the story, It was sad to know that his family was only interested or pretended to like him because he provided for them financially, and turning your back against someone who supported you, created together, and raised you is really hurtful.

    Out of all animals, why did the author choose a bug instead of a dog?

  18. Jason Pastuizaca

    that he will be in a better place, in peace and be happier than the situation he was in dealing with his family.

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