Considering Kafka

Metamorphosis: a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means

In the past few posts, I’ve been rambling incessantly on the challenges we face in life, veering dangerously close to Oprah-like discussions. So, in the interest of intellectual relevancy, I’m taking a literary turn on the second blog for April’s theme of change. As I was thinking about the alterations that occur throughout our lives, both within ourselves and in our surroundings, I remembered Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. For those not familiar with Kafka’s work, The Metamorphosis is a humorous yet tragic story of a young man named Gregor, who transforms into a cockroach. He never feels like he fits in with society and due to his family’s mistreatment, considers himself an outcast; this is magnified when he turns into an insect and is locked in his room for months, often with very little food. After he dies, his family moves on as if nothing happened, letting the maid clean up his remains and promptly forgetting about his prior existence.

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The cockroach form that Gregor obtains is a metaphor for how others treated him. His family viewed him as ugly and useless; therefore, he took this form. Though a little odd to picture, we can see Kafka’s relevant comparison to the human¬†tendency to change based on other’s opinions and their surroundings. If we let them, people’s remarks and the situational changes in our lives can affect us in either a positive or negative way. Though it is highly unlikely any of us will be morphing into an insect in the near future, it helps to remember the affects others have on our lives, as well as the strength and value each of us holds.

 

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