- Essays on medieval literature examine the category of literature written from approximately 500 AD to the start of the Renaissance in the late 1500s.
Gregor has great difficulty in getting out of bed and opening the door, but constantly excuses this, saying that he is drowsy, that sometimes one wakes up with aches and pains that turn out to be nothing upon getting up, and that he feels a slight indisposition. Once Gregor notes the change in his voice, he attributes this change to the coming on of a cold, still seemingly unaware of his new physical state. In this chapter, Gregor seems to view his metamorphosis as little more than a slight annoyance, something he simply needs to get over before he can get back to work. This gives the impression that Gregor's focus is entirely on his work and his family, to the extent of ignoring his own self.
The metamorphosis literary analysis essay
Literature remains relevant and essential because it relates as it conveysand carries us ourselves and our world - metaphoricallyand literally - so that we might experience fresh perspectives, receivechallenges to our knowledge and sensibilities, reach new understandings,perhaps even attain wisdom, through such things as poetry, plays, novels,short stories, memoirs, and all the other literary forms.
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Gregor's consciousness, for the most part, remains very human. His attention is directed mainly towards his surroundings, his job, and his family, not at all towards the fact that he is no longer a human being. He completely fails to realize the importance of his transformation. He is annoyed, for example, that he cannot get back to sleep because he cannot turn over on his side. Gregor, in fact, is the only character who seems, emotionally, fairly unaffected by his metamorphosis. The fourth paragraph of the book reinforces this attitude as, within this single paragraph, Gregor goes from worrying about his job to attempting to scratch an unfamiliar new itch on his unfamiliar new belly. His recognition of his new body does not sink in as he goes on rationally thinking about his work.
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Looking around his room as he awakens, long before coming to any real understanding or acceptance of his condition, Gregor notes that it is "a regular human bedroom," though a bit small. In his normal accepting tone, Gregor seems to be expressing dissatisfaction with the size of his room and the conditions in which he lives. The use of the term "regular human" serves already to distance Gregor from everything human. Though he has not yet caught on to his transformation, he already feels removed from humanity. This raises the question of whether this distance is a result of his transformation or indicates his pre-existing distance from other people. No answer, of course, is given, and both are possible. There is a hint here that Gregor's entire metamorphosis may be the result, or the metaphorical equivalent, of his alienation.
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We get also the impression that Gregor is already alienated from his own body, since the sudden change does not inspire any strong feeling in him. It is as if he has switched from one foreign body to another, less convenient, one. Thus Gregor's strange alienation from his body is given concrete form in his metamorphosis, as he calmly explores his new form. He coolly observes that he cannot control his legs, that he lacks a clear image of the lower part of his body, that he does not know why places on his body itch or what those places are, and he observes, with almost clinical detachment, that he must be damaging his jaw in turning the key since a brown fluid is pouring out. He overestimates the hardness of his back and he experiences aches in unusual places, but none of this really surprises him. Gregor examines his new body as another vessel, just a new shell he has been placed in. It seems almost as if he had never established any identification between his self and his human body, so that a change of form is no big surprise.