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Halstead 1

Sarah Halstead Mr. Walters English II Honors (PreAP) 7 April 2014 Kafkas thoughts on life: reflections on roachishness In Franz Kafkas The Metamorphosis, we find a solitary anti-hero who sacrifices his life so that his family can enjoy their happiness. His sacrifice goes unnoticed by his family, but is real and is powerful nonetheless. Unfortunately, it seems that at the end of the novel, Gregors sister Grete begins the same self-defeating cycle that Gregor has just completed. Thus, it appears that Kafkas statement about life goes something to the effect that: When people end up with major life issues, they often take the easy way out and end up not learning from their mistakes. This statement about life seen in the Samsas response to the death of Gregor, especially in the last line of the story, suggests that Grete is going to recycle the exact same behaviors that got Gregor in trouble in the first place. Grete, like Gregor, follows the same path that led to her brothers destruction. This becomes clear with the last two lines of the story: when at the end of their ride their daughter got up first and stretched her young body (Kafka 1110). The word first is significant here, because it parallels the opening lines of the Metamorphosis: When Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself transformed into a monstrous vermin (1084). Gregor is the first character Kafka mentions, and it is Gregors behavior of tending to the needs of his parents and sister that arguably has led to his inappropriate relationships with his family. Grete, in the end, repeats Gregors behavior, as it is she who is the one who first gets up and stretches her young body(1110). The implication here is that the parents, who have never

Halstead 2 reflected on what caused the loss of their son in the first place, are going to allow Grete to take Gregors place as the family saviorthey will place all of their hopes and dreams and responsibilities onto Grete, who is now the one who is running the show, so to speak. And this is the problem that the family first encountered with Gregor: he was allowed to run the entire show; he was allowed to choose what apartment the family would live in, what Grete would do with her violin playing, what debt repayment plan the parents would be involved witheverything. Yet his relationship to his family was merely a business transaction. This transaction is something that is completely lost upon the surviving Samsas. They never consider what led to Gregors transformation and ultimate demise; instead, they only focus on what they can do to remain happyeven if it involves isolating, marginalizing, and dehumanizing Gregor, or at least what they think is Gregors remains. CONCLUSION WOULD GO HERE

Halstead 3 Works Cited Look up the information for the Prentice Hall Text book and format it correctly. Place here.

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