Franz Kafka – a European writer of the early 20th century was truly a man of peace: a Jew by birth, a Prague resident by birth and residence, a German writer by language and Austrian by cultural tradition. It would seem that such a person must constantly feel his union with all of humanity. However, he lived under the conditions of a total crisis in Europe, in the midst of the disintegration of all social values. In addition, Kafka lived in Austria-Hungary – in a country that one of his contemporaries called “the experimental station of the end of the world.” That’s why the fate of the writer, like the character, was full of contradictions, reflected in his work. Kafka hated the soulless world in which he was doomed to exist and in which he was keenly aware
These features of Kafka’s personality, it seems to me, were reflected in the novel “Metamorphosis”, which in Greek means “complete, perfect change – reincarnation.” After reading the name, you expect changes in the lives of yet unknown heroes. And this transformation is impossible in real life: the hero of the novel – a modest traveling salesman Gregor Zamza unexpectedly even turns himself into a terrible insect with numerous thin legs. Gradually, from page to page, you understand that this is an allegory that there are changes in the hero’s self-awareness and in his worldview.
In the form of an insect, he can not move, act like a man. And this causes a lot of difficulties when moving in space. But having changed the physical shell, Gregor Zamza remained internally internally and at first tried to act as if nothing had happened. Even the horror of family members who saw his ugly appearance, Gregor assesses as a humble son and a loving brother who does not want to upset his “illness” loved ones.
Gregor changed, he was not like the others. And that’s why even his people-father, mother, sister do not understand and do not want to understand him. In this I see the sense that his speech – an insect – has become incomprehensible to them. But he understood them, experienced, as before, thinking about them.
Gregor felt guilty for the changes that occurred in the house, and sought to alleviate the fate of loved ones, even if only to save them from seeing the terrible, transformed body. He became a stranger to his family, moreover – a shameful burden, from which they eventually wanted to get rid of, not wanting to live together “with such an animal.” And he was still a man in his heart! And I needed to understand. Confirmation to this is a touching scene when my sister played the violin, and Gregor the insect crawled out of his room to better see, hear his sister, express to her in the way available to him now his admiration, gratitude, love. This desire had tragic consequences.
From the first day of the transformation, Gregor’s living space was confined to the walls of the room. The situation of misunderstanding and alienation was aggravated every day. If before, when Gregor worked, there was no complete mutual understanding and warmth in the family, except for the relationship with his sister, but now his attempts at rapprochement aroused fear, horror, repulsion and cruelty. True, the kind and generous Gregor called cruelty of the father “the greatest severity.” It is impossible without compassion for Gregor to read about how his father, not understanding the situation, in anger, with an expression distorted by anger, ran around the living room for Gregor the insect, trying to crush him with his feet, and then bombarded with apples and inflicted a heavy wound on his son, which deprived Gregor of his former mobility. If it were not for the mother,
It must be said that in the depiction of the relationship between Gregor and his father, Kafka’s relationship with his father was reflected. From childhood to the last days of his life, the writer was conscious of his own insignificance in the eyes of his father. And what could be more insignificant than an insect that can be crushed with a foot?!
Remaining alone in his room, Gregor the insect with longing realized his loneliness, not only in the family, but in the world of people. People from the outside world either feared him, or with disgust and indignation, not only avoided communicating with him, but did not even tolerate his presence. His initial desire to see through the window after the life of the city gradually disappeared with the loss of vision and “he could have thought that he was looking out of his window at the desert, into which the gray earth and the gray sky had merged unequally.” This image of an alien and desolate world expressively conveys the state of loneliness and anguish in which the hero of Kafka’s story turned out to be. Gradually, Gregor lost interest in life, towards people. He sees in himself a diminished sensitivity to others and indifference to himself. He is angry with everyone who tries to support his existence. He almost stopped eating, became slovenly, with difficulty moved. His life has lost all meaning. The misfortune that has happened to him and which has never happened to any of his acquaintances and relatives has completely cut him off from people, from the world. His good intentions and attempts to show human nature by all were rejected, even by his sister. Gregor with humility now took his fate: he, too, believed that he should disappear. But even in the last moments of his life he thought with tenderness and love about his family. he also believed that he should disappear. But even in the last moments of his life he thought with tenderness and love about his family. he also believed that he should disappear. But even in the last moments of his life he thought with tenderness and love about his family.
The transformation of a person into an insect described by Kafka and the consequences of this first seemed to me a fantastic and absurd transformation in a fairy-tale reality. But having read carefully the second time, I realized that this figurative, metaphorical embodiment of the idea of self-realization by the person of the insignificance of existence in a world alien to him, the idea of a person’s solitude only because he is not like everyone else. I think that this novella and its heroes are inherently autobiographical. The writer was acutely, to painful fantasies, he felt his isolation from the family and from the world as a whole. And in the novel he was able to show the tragedy of this state and the doom of a man in a cruel world.