We often think of the first moments of the story as Gregor’s realization that a metamorphosis has occurred; however, there are lots of changes that take place after the beginning. Choose one metamorphosis (in Gregor’s body—in Gregor’s feelings—in Grete’s behavior–in family dynamics—etc.) and explain how it occurs in the story, using quotes as needed to illustrate. Then, end by commenting on the significance of this particular metamorphosis to the story as a whole.
How does “illness as metaphor” work in this story? How does Gregor’s transformation into an insect becomes itself a metaphor for other roles, states of being, experiences, and relationships in which he is treated like an insect?
Elaborate on how Kafka develops Gregor’s change into an insect into a process that is similar to the onset of some illnesses or disabilities (of body or mind), developing your idea with facts and quotes from the story.
This story is often classified as written in the genre of “the fantastic” because its starting point is a highly unrealistic event (man wakes up, is turned into a bug).On the other hand, many aspects of the story are very realistic. Discuss where the story is fantastic and where it is realistic, using examples from the text and closing with a comment on the effect of this mix of the fantastic and the realistic.
Two main strategies of the literature of the fantastic are making the familiar strange and making the strange familiar. Which of these (might be both?) does Kafka use and where? Obviously, support with examples.
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