Brian Zamora

English 1B

Mr. Haley

13 January 2005

Feelin’ Like a Bug!

        Bugs are everywhere and you can’t avoid them. Whether you love them, or you hate them, one thing is certain, you can’t live without them. The Webster dictionary defines the bug as an insect that have sucking mouthparts, forewings thickened at the base, and incomplete metamorphosis and are often economic pests. Being a pest is just one of their many qualities of being a bug. Bugs are also known to be worthless, sheltered, disease carrying vermin’s. Another living creature that shares the same qualities of bugs is humans. Humans are also known to be worthless, dirty, and also spread a lot of disease. The author Franz Kafka reflects the characteristics of humans in his short story, “Metamorphosis,” in which he captures the vermin-like qualities as a symbol of self-portrayal.

        In the story “Metamorphosis”, Gregor Samsa undergoes a sense of worthlessness from his family and employer. Kafka portrays this feeling of worthlessness by turning him into a cockroach. Cockroaches are depicted as ugly valueless arthropods. We have no idea why they exist and what their purpose in life really is. When we see a cockroach, our first reaction is a feeling of disgust and our only intention is to exterminate the hideous creature. Take for example the hit TV game show, Fear Factor. In order to achieve high ratings from their grossed out viewers, they contest the eating of live, ugly, useless arthropods. The main and commonly used bug on that show is the cockroach. They purposely picked the cockroach because they know it is perceived as an insignificant vermin, and would be considered fanatical if eaten. In reality the cockroach is considered a delicacy in many countries like, Morocco, Singapore, and India. Cockroaches as a group are part of the worldwide food chain. They serve as food for small mammals, birds, and amphibians. Furthermore they are omnivore scavengers which clean up our environment. If it where not for cockroaches to help recycle the organic litter, it would accumulate and pile up to become unusable waste. There are over 3000 species of cockroaches and only 10 species are on the World Health Organization list of human pests.

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        This case of perception of worthlessness to becoming a reality of importance reflects the life of Gregor. Gregor profusely overworks himself in order to provide a life for his family and profits for his employer, he is looked down upon the day he decides to take a break from his profession of selling. Since he isn’t out making money, he sees himself as a worthless human being, and portrays himself to a cockroach, since it’s the lowest living thing imagined. His family and boss also see him as this empty cockroach and start to treat him as if he were ...

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