Argument Against Existentialism: Metamorphosis

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The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines existentialism as a concept of “[assuming] ultimate responsibility for acts of free will,” this meaning that a person has control over their ultimate destination in life through the choices they make. Some may say that this describes Metamorphosis and the journey that Gregor undertakes. The novella is, in truth, a perfect example of the opposite of existentialism. The first counter-argument to the idea of existentialism that presents itself in the novella was at the very beginning. The event that sparks the entire story, Gregor’s transformation, is entirely outside the realm of his control. He awoke and “found himself changed into a monstrous vermin” (3). Not only does Gregor not have control of the situation, he doesn’t even know that anything has happened to him until he wakes up. He has no choice in the matter of turning into a giant insect. This transformation disgusts Gregor’s family. Over time, it turns them against him, even though everything Gregor does in his life seems to be centered around the happiness and comfortability of his family. He works as a traveling salesman to pay off the debts of his parents, and had even planned to send his sister away to perfect her skills at playing the violin. Eventually his entire family grows to resent him, even his sister whom he cared so deeply for, and who takes care of Gregor when he first changes. She eventually even goes as far as to say that the family “must try to get rid of [Gregor]” (51). With total disregard to all of the things he has done for them, his family leaves him virtually abandoned. This same abandonment is what eventually leads to Gregor’s death. When he first changes, his sister takes the time to pay attention to what he does and does not like. When she realizes that he likes to crawl on the walls, she tries to move furniture so that he can do so more
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