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Plot and Subplot of Metamorphosis

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Introduction

Plot & Subplot The play opens with Gregor and his family entering the stage one by one. His transformation into a beetle is narrated. As he wakes up for work, he looks at his clock, and the ticking of this that marks the idea of time forever moving on recurs throughout the play. It is made clear that Gregor is already late for work. His job is described - "up again at four am...to catch the five am train", which shows that he works many antisocial hours to provide for his family. He is the sole earner of the family - "I have to work to keep them" - so his family will suffer if he cannot make it to work. The implication is that whilst Gregor suffers through work and his family gain from it, Gregor might gain from not being able to work as he will not have the stresses of little sleep and travelling although his family will suffer. There is a flashback to an average day for Gregor, where he returns home late from work. Greta, Gregor's younger sister, cares deeply about him but his parents seem more interested in the material goods Gregor's work can provide for him. ...read more.

Middle

Mrs Samsa and Greta decide to give him some milk whilst Mr Samsa hates the idea of being near him. The milk symbolises Gregor's childlike dependence now he is in beetle form. The colour white could also represent the purity and innocence of his personality, as well as the sterile white of hospitals, suggesting the milk is helping him to feel better. This is followed by his brief return to human form "stimulated by the reminder of gentle and past reminders of milk". The family then decide that Gregor needs to eat and to be cared for. This idea gradually unites the family as they begin to gather scraps of food. But this illusion is shattered when Mr Samsa screams "Quiet!". The difficulty of the situation builds up his frustration and he is desperate to return to normality and regain his authority. Gregor's health is then shown to be decreasing as he has not eaten for several days. The family's money is low due to the lack of income as they argue over a wasted potato. There is the realisation within a dream that there will never be money to send Greta to the Conservatorium, and the divide between Gregor and his father is increased because it was Mr Samsa's fault the money wasn't saved. ...read more.

Conclusion

His appearance causes reactions of amusement, but then anger and disgust from the lodgers as they realise they are sharing a building with him. Mr Samsa is put down by the lodgers and viewed at the same level as Gregor, so that he begins to feel the similar emotions of being inadequate, abnormal and disowned. The lodgers leave, and the family realise that Gregor's beetle state is responsible, once again, for the loss of their money and routine. Greta finally disowns him, refusing to accept that the beetle is her brother - "get rid of the idea that he is Gregor". Gregor himself no longer feels as he used to, and is contented with the idea of death and leaving his troubled family so that he is no longer a burden on them. The family become peaceful after Gregor's death. They begin to see their lives and jobs in a more positive light instead of the tense, money-fuelled mess of before. Mr and Mrs Samsa's attention is turned to Greta, as if through the ordeal they have not paid attention to her. The mention of them finding a good husband for her suggests they are about to become more responsible parents and not expect Greta to do everything for them. ?? ?? ?? ?? Metamorphosis Louisa Lawson - 1 - ...read more.

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