What Changes Occur in Metamorphosis, and Are They Entirely Negative?

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Gareth Parker 11/01/2013 What changes occur in Metamorphosis, and are they entirely negative? Franz Kafka is one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. In this essay I will examine The Metamorphosis by Kafka and compare it firstly to a Marxist prospective and then the impact on the family unit from Gregor himself to the rest of the family. I have taken the Marxist approach because of the relevance to the time at which the novella was written. I have also used the family angle because of the well documented relationship that Kafka had with his own father. The most obvious change that occurs within Metamorphosis is Gregor becoming a monstrous vermin at the beginning of the novella. Even though he has changed beyond recognition he does not panic, there is an uncomfortable calm, he thinks he can still function normally. He is worried about catching the next train and getting the samples ready but then ironically being the boss’s creature, stupid and spineless. His physical change as far as he can see will not change his enjoyment of life, there will be no difference as he was a bug before, towing the line for the boss. He was always too busy to form lasting relationships, never being seen as a person, the personification of a deadening soul. According to Karl Marx “work is external to the worker i.e. it does not form part of his essential being so that instead of feeling well in his work, he feels unhappy, instead of developing his free physical and mental energy, he abuses his body and ruins his mind.”(Bloom. Page 107) Gregor basically is beginning self-alienation, he believes he is something hideous physically but mentally still holds onto his human conformist mindset. But as Walter.H.Stokel wrote that Marx said “ self-alienation implies the individuals estrangement from humanity” This means that he finds work so unbearable that it serves no
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