metamorphasisclosereading - no longer human he is unable to...

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Michelle Praxmarer April 2 nd , 2008 Close Reading Identity Crisis Metamorphosis , a novel by Franz Kafka, tells the story of Gregor Samsa. Gregor is a traveling salesman who wakes up one day and he is no longer human. Unable to work because of his transformation, Gregor becomes racked with guilt because he knows that his family relies on him to support them. Only when Gregor discovers his true identity is he able to die. Gregor wakes up one morning and finds that he has lost everything that defined him and gave him an identity. His selflessness and sense of duty to his family have this far prevented him from establishing and maintaining an identity of his own. For some reason or another Gregor has taken it upon himself to repay his parents’ debt to his current employer: “Well there’s still hope; once I’ve saved enough money to pay back my parents’ debt to him – that should take another five or six years – I’ll do it without fail” (2). Even when he wakes up and finds that he is
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Unformatted text preview: no longer human, he is unable to escape from what he considers his family duty, his first thought is still about trying to make it to work on time, “For the moment, though, I’d better get up, since my train leaves at five,” (3). He even continues to try and appease them after they find out what has happened to him by remaining in his room and not being an eyesore. Only in the end when he hears his sister playing her violin for the guests is he reminded of his love for his family, mainly his sister. “He was determined to push forward till he reached his sister, to pull at her skirt and so let her know that she was to come into his room with her violin, for no one here appreciated her playing as he would appreciate it,” (45). This love for his sister and her music, paired with his newly acquired freedom, are the last ingredients in Gregor’s quest for his identity. With his newly found identity, he is finally able to die....
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