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Gregor Samsa as a Representation of the Everyman in The Metamorphosis

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Introduction

Jamie Marks Language A1: WL Assignment #2; 2B/Essay January 24, 2002 0250-063 Word Count: 1,367 Gregor Samsa as a Representation of the Everyman in The Metamorphosis Kafka's novella, The Metamorphosis, can be analyzed an infinite number of ways. Perhaps one of the most common analyses of the text is as a social commentary using Gregor, the main character, as a representative of the everyman. Through the development of Gregor and his metamorphosis, Kafka has perfectly painted a literary picture of the constant struggle for understanding and affection of the human race. In the opening page of The Metamorphosis Gregor is already being vividly described as having characteristics the common human can sympathize with. This sets the stage for the novella's extremely wide generalizations about human nature by allowing the reader to connect with the character on a more personal level. Immediately he expresses stress over getting to work on time, a concrete struggle that is easy for most readers to relate to. He describes his job as "grueling...Day in, day out" (4). Most people have a job where attendance is mandatory, much like Gregor. ...read more.

Middle

He tries many times to Marks 0250-063 3 relate to his family through the emergences from his room. The first he was merely trying to communicate to the family and his boss why he wasn't able to come to work by showing them his hideous physical transformation. When he went to return to his room he didn't fit into the door and instead of opening the other side, his father forces him though leaving one of his "flanks scraped raw" (19). This is the first major attempt to communicate the reader sees as going terribly wrong despite Gregor's good intentions and struggle to relate to his family. Perhaps the quintessential example of this is when Gregor, who had been outlined as having no affection to music, drags his wounded body out of his room to hear his sister play the violin. He longed to relate to Grete and recognized that the music "moved him so" (49). This symbolizes a large change in Gregor instilled by the loss of his duty and the new emphasis in his life on human relationships. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is being treated as less than a stranger to his family, solely because the roomers bring in the money that Gregor used to provide for them. The culmination of his alienation and complete disregard from his family leads to his death when the family decides they need to get rid of him. Gregor expresses nothing but love and sacrifice for his family even at the height of their disregard for him. He even feels guilty for even being alive enough to be a burden for him, and lets his lonely heart die just so things will be easier for them. Being Marks 0250-063 5 alone is a fear of most human beings and the need for affection from the people one deeply loves, as Gregor loves his family, is perhaps the most universal need and emotion of the human race. Gregor represents parts and fears that live in all of us. Kafka allows every reader of his novella to feel completely connected to the main character in order to make his thematic statements about human nature and it's largest struggles more tangible. Gregor is the lonely, the unloved, the alienated, the over worked, and the misunderstood all at once. Through Gregor's struggle, Kafka completely represents some of the most common feelings of humanity. ...read more.

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