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Lessons Learned from “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka

Welcome to our essay sample on the lessons from The Metamorphosis! Here, you’ll find The Metamorphosis summary and analysis. Keep reading to get a better understanding of Kafka’s story.

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The Metamorphosis: Summary

The major change in Gregor’s life was the transformation from the human life to that of an insect (Kafka 2). Despite this change in physical appearance, Gregor’s life did not undergo further significant changes throughout. The transformation was majorly physical and not on the mind. In fact, the physical transformation caused much trouble in the life of Gregor. However, Gregor accepted his new life without questions. Gregor took up the traveling sales representative job to support the family financially though he disliked the job.

In the same way, Gregor questioned neither why his physical appearance had transformed nor complained about his condition. In addition, Gregor neither worried about his itinerary life nor endeavored to change it by any means. Conversely, Gregor accepted his new form of life. The whole story reflected the life of Gregor as composed and tolerant by not complaining about his life transformation (Kafka 28).

In fact, metamorphosis resulted into Gregor’s emotional suffering besides his inability to interact with fellow human beings. Moreover, Gregor realized that he could no longer take up the daily duties even though his retained human mind directed him to do so. When he woke up, Gregor tried to stand upright and go to job, yet his physic could not allow him. In addition, his new life brought a lot of suffering to his family. Gregor could no longer support the family financially forcing his frail father to take up new job. Gregor could no longer take his sister to the violin school as he planned (Kafka 36). All these elements contributed to the emotional sufferings he went through besides much trouble he caused the family members.

Lessons from Gregor’s life

The first lesson that can be learnt from the transformation of Gregor’s life is the absurdity that exists in everyday life. The transformation of Gregor’s life from human to that of an insect symbolizes how life operates or at times exists in absurdity. In fact, the author did not specify the reasons, why the life of Gregor transformed nor did Gregor look for reasons why his life changed from the normal human being to that of a bug. The process through which Gregor changed into an insect is not only unnatural, but also implausible. In the contrary, Gregor has been portrayed as a responsible person throughout the story.

Moreover, the author did not indicate whether Gregor ought to have undergone such difficult circumstances. The family treated the fate of Gregor as a normal occurrence. No one even Gregor, found it strange for the huge transformation that occurred in his life. The normal way in which Gregor’s condition was treated and lack of seriousness by Gregor to understand the reasons behind his physical transformation brought out clearly the absurdity of life. In essence, all the elements surrounding the life of Gregor implied irrationality and indicated a world unjust to some individuals.

The other important lesson that can be learned from the Gregor’s life transformation is the separation that sometimes exists between the mind and the body. The metamorphosis that occurred in Gregor was only on the body rather in the mind. Throughout the story, Gregor’s mind was upright and capable of processing information the same way before the body changed into a bug. The maintenance of the set of mind can clearly be observed when Gregor woke up and tried in several occasions to stand upright though the change in the body did not support the upright position. Besides, Gregor thought of going to his daily duties including work even though he could not manage physically. Moreover, Gregor realized that he disliked his favorite milk only after the first taste. In essence, despite having an insect body, Gregor continued to think like humans.

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The other important lesson that can be learnt from the Gregor’s life is the confines of human commiseration. Immediately after Gregor physical body changed, the family members particularly the mother and sister had a deep feelings of both compassion and incomprehension. The reason for compassionate feeling was that they believed Gregor had some human life despite his physical appearance. Because of this sympathy, Grete decided to take care of him. Through such care, Grete tried to find out the type of food Gregor liked and the most suitable environment for him. The mother held hope that Gregor could eventually return to his human form. However, these sympathies and hopes continued to wear down due to stresses caused by Gregor. In fact, Gregor appearance worsened horrifying his caretakers.

The unease caused by the Gregor’s appearance could be felt throughout. More worse was the fact that Gregor could not speak out his thoughts and feelings, widening disconnect between him and the family members as well as his human side. As a result, the family members perceived him more of an insect rather than human being. The unease caused by Gregor’s lack of communication together with his appearance contributed to the continued wearing down of the family sympathy to the point where they could no longer put up with his presence.

The other significant lesson that could be learned from Gregor’s life is alienation. Estrangement became the significant consequence of Gregor’s metamorphosis. Gregor’s appearance alienated him mentally and physically from the people close to him. In fact, the change in physical appearance imprisoned Gregor from the rest of humanity (Kafka 54). Immediately after Gregor’s metamorphosis, even his close family members could not stand his appearance. For this reason, Gregor had to remain indoors throughout with limited contact to the outside world. Gregor even had a self-withdrawal. He neither interacted nor shown any relation and continued hiding under the chairs every time Grete was in the room. His inability to speak further made him become at odds with the rest of his family members as well as other people. The mother offered an explanation to Gregor’s workmates that he was devoted to his work and had not intended to leave the job.

Moreover, Gregor could not perform his desired daily chores. The reality is that the transformation in his life separated him completely from the rest of humanity. As time went by, Gregor became isolated from his close family members. Further, the author did not mention any Gregor’s friend or any other person he had close relationship apart from his family members.

However, Gregor did not have a strong feeling about his physical transformation rather he perceived it as a separation from the rest of his daily activities. Immediately after realizing that he had become a bug, Gregor reflected on how his job as a travelling sales representative has supported the family. Gregor became separated emotionally from the family when he later realized that he could not take pride of supporting the family. In fact, the distance from other humans created by Gregor’s metamorphosis was an expansion of the separation he previously felt.

Works Cited

Kafka, Franz. Metamorphosis. Indianapolis, IN: Montecristo Publishing LLC, 2012, Print.

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