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Metamorphosis

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Introduction

Bryan Vaz 03/05/04 Cand. No: 0220076 English A1 HL World Literature Paper 2 Commentary Word Count: 1,049 In the short story, Metamorphosis, the narrator describes Gregor's new life as an insect. He then goes on to describe Gregor's sister, Grete, with a reflection of Gregor's opinion in the description. Kafka employs a number of stylistic devices including descriptive imagery, metaphors, and symbolism in the passage to describe the situation. While these devices on their own just provide a more complex method of painting the situation, the way they are assembled in the passage serves to depict a comparison of power between Gregor and Grete. The creation of such a multifaceted evaluation further increases the reader's sympathy towards Gregor's situation. Firstly, Gregor is characterized with many literary descriptors. "Sense of freedom" is the first occurrence of relevant descriptive imagery. The freedom is what he used to posses before the metamorphosis, however he no longer has liberty outside his room. ...read more.

Middle

In addition his action of adapting to the circumstances by hiding under the sofa when she comes in symbolizes his primitive instinct is still with him, and he is not completely handicapped. In the same manner, Grete possesses many literary devices that characterize her. Gregor, as explained before, has no freedom in his life beyond his room, in contrast, the liberty to come and go is exercised by Grete every day, through the description of her chores in Gregor's room. The tone that one gets from reading the line, "without even time to shut the door," is rushed, hasty, and inconsiderate. By portraying this characteristic about Grete, Gregor's pessimistic attitude becomes quite evident, enlightening the reader on the psychological changes going on in his head and allowing for a broader understanding of his psyche. Gregor's description of his sister, "quick-wittedness" is a metaphor for her power. This not only shows that she competent, but that she also can adapt to the circumstances, which is the only ability that the two characters have in common. ...read more.

Conclusion

The passage is important to the book, because it demonstrates not only the difference in power between the two characters, but also how the characters regard one another. This comparison is the summary of all the events that had happened up to that point and therefore allows the reader experience the climax to the full. Gregor's decent into darkness serves also to increase the reader's pathos, if Metamorphosis could be considered a tragedy. In addition the reader develops a greater appreciation for Grete because of her power, and what she chooses to do with it. In short, the passage increases the reader's sympathy towards Gregor through the creation of a complex assessment of both Gregor and Grete. Kafka's use of imagery, metaphors and diction, to depict the circumstances that are no longer under his control further illuminates the position of Gregor. Furthermore, the use of these devices to create such a complex portrait of the differences between the Grete and Gregor represents the masterpiece that is the book. All in all the style in the passage not only emphasizes but clarifies Gregor's situations, and the families. ...read more.

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