Metamorphosis Gender Has Always Been Based Upon Book Report

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Literature Type: Book Report Paper: #42268844 Related Topics: Literary, Breakfast, A Good Man Is Hard To Find, Meaningful Use
Excerpt from Book Report :

¶ … Metamorphosis

Gender has always been based upon the society's ideas about male and female. This is different from the physical difference between the sexes. The concurrent psychology of the masses dictates what is considered to be proper or improper behavior for the given genders. Males are ascribed masculine traits and females are supposed to be feminine. Fictional characters are written by flesh and blood human beings and consequently the norms of the social order will bleed into their fictional creations. Female characters in a fictional work will have the same gendered notes as a human being and the same expectations based upon that gender. If they do not prescribe to the norms of their given gender, it is always for an artistic purpose which functions as the purpose of the piece. Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" use the gender of their fictional protagonists to further the story and to make a comment on how society views and fuels stereotypical depictions of gender both in the real world and in works of fiction. The story, as read through the lens of psychoanalytical literary criticism could be interpreted as a story which is really about the relationship between the protagonist Gregor Samsa and his young sister Grete.

Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" is about how hard-working Gregor Samsa, a young man who functions as the main bread-winner in his family, mysteriously turns into an insect one night while he sleeps. For a long time Gregor was the only source of income for the family and now that he is a giant bug, his


Gregor's function within the family unit has been as a surrogate patriarch. The father does not work and so his position as caretaker of the family has fallen to his son. Kafka writes of Mr. Samsa, "The washing up from breakfast lay on the table; there was so much of it because, for Gregor's father, breakfast was the most important meal of the day and he would stretch it out for several hours as he sat reading a number of different newspapers" (9). Mr. Samsa has nothing but free time; completely the opposite of his son. At the same time, Gregor has been arrested in part of his development because of his family obligations. He does not seem to have a girlfriend or wife and has few prospects for any kind of relationship. The only thing close to a woman his own age who is a meaningful part of his life is Grete. If Gregor has become the de facto patriarch, then Grete is basically the matriarch of the household.

The relationship between Grete and Gregor is what is really at the heart of the novella. When Gregor transforms into the giant insect, the family are disgusted, seeing him as no longer a human being, including his once dearest and closest sister. Now that he has reached the age of sexual maturity and has started looking for a mate, the only thing he has is Grete and a picture of a woman who would be a more appropriate match because she is not his relative. The picture is very important. Kafka mentions it early in the story and it comes up again later in the narrative when…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited:

Kafka, Franz. "The Metamorphosis." Trans. David Wyllie. Classix. 2009. Print.

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