Character Analysis Essay

Franz Kafka is an outstanding writer of the twentieth century who is capable of rendering figurative truth catching the reader from the very beginning of the novella, even from the first sentence by narrating: “One morning, as Gregor Samsa ”¦ discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug” (Kafka). From the very beginning of “Metamorphosis” readers plunge into the atmosphere of describing Gregor Samsa’s microcosm, full of isolation and misunderstanding by his family. Though, to a certain extent, Samsa represents cultural stereotypes being an ordinary man, still he can hardly be called a stock character. But being the protagonist Gregor is involved into dramatic relations within his family which show the complexity of human interaction in society and the conflict of people’s expectations with reality.

Waking up and finding himself transformed into a kind of a cockroach, his life changes. One morning he transforms outwardly but we can hardly say that he changes inwardly at once. It is a kind of a paradox that Gregor Samsa begins looking beast-like and consequently changes his attitude to certain things and events. Firstly, he considers himself to be busy with work as a burden of family support lies on him. Then Gregor changes his practical approach to life and starts perceiving the surroundings another way. But it does not matter if he looks like a man or like a cockroach; he is separated from the rest of the world and dependent on circumstances. Gregor lacks for love and emotional stability, is separated emotionally and after the transformation even physically from the family. Gregor Samsa needs an escape from circumstances, but is enslaved with his family needs. He spends a definite part of his life, giving up dreams for the benefit of people who never appreciate it is not a way out for the young man who could have deserved a better future. Gregor manifests moral weakness and inability to withstand the calamities of life, as a result even his sister starts treating him like an insect and he begins feeling like an insect.

While in the novella the surroundings are rather static, one may feel the dynamics of his family members attitude change, though the way Gregor Samsa loved and respected them never changed, he felt responsible for them and even when he was incapable of moving freely, he continued worrying about usual family business. However, the dynamic nature of the character himself is evident, as he undergoes important inner and outer changes in the course of the novella and Franz Kafka resorts to different ways of revealing the characters dynamism describing the readers his actions, appearance and thoughts.

As Gregor turns into a more human being than he used to be he fights as fiercely as he can to preserve his world untouched. Living in the world of fear and isolation the protagonist seems to find new sense in life but his metamorphosis is irreversible. No one understands Gregor, even when he crawls out of the room, his sister loathes him and “not only did she retreat, but she jumped back as if in alarm and banged the door shut” (Kafka).

Gregor’s behavior is stereotypical until he feels the changes that occur in his mind. Due to the direct and indirect characteristics of Kafka, readers make sure that Gregor is a round character which represents the depth of personality and contrasts with the rest of the world feeling helpless, useless and isolated.

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