Jean Benoit Lauzon                                                                         05/11/01

English journals – Kafka

Journal 1 – The Metamorphosis


        The opening paragraph of this short story begins with the introduction of Gregor Samsa as a newly transformed insect. The narrator’s intent in regards to this brusque stating of Gregor’s new physical shape, is perhaps to convey Gregor’s own surprised and confused feelings into the reader’s mind. The narrator seems to anticipate what the reader is thinking, as he immediately states that Gregor is transformed, and what shape he now possesses. The narrator pushes his description to unfolding the exact contours of Gregor’s body. He takes the perspective of Gregor, looking down on his own body, perhaps to heighten the vividness and brutal psychological shock of the first vision of his “numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes.” The reader is thus enabled, through this first-person point-of-view, to visualise that precise image, which inherently helps the reader better understand the effect of the transformation through Gregor’s perspective.

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        The paragraph detailing Gregor’s metamorphosis is followed by a description of his room and of his non-bug life. The reader notices that where the first paragraph was leaning towards structure and a coherent and precise description of Gregor, this paragraph seems to consist of more random thoughts than anything else. It’s as if Gregor’s mind is wandering about his room, trying to rebuild his human character, whereas the previous paragraph had completely shattered his notion of humanity. We can see in the following quote just how determined Gregor is to re-ascertain his humanity, “ What has happened to me? he ...

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