Integrative Seminar Week 5
This class involved the discussion of the third chapter of Metamorphosis.Chapter Three is all about Gregor’s final thoughts and moments with his family.
The book in general contains several hidden metaphors and themes.The locked doors in the house are a metaphor for isolation and alienation.Gregor’s family decided to completely shut him off as a member of the family,but at the same time the door serves as a portal for his family to stay in contact with the human side of Gregor.The locked door also symbolises the huge secret that the Samsa family has to hide from the world.
The couch in Gregor’s room is a metaphor for Gregor’s shame and insecurity on being transformed into a vermin.It serves as a hiding place for him and it is often where he finds solace when he wishes to hide himself.He covers himself even further using a blanket which he pulls as low as possible,to allow himself to see his family members without making them feel disgusted.It is a compromise that he makes.
The most obvious metaphor in the book itself is the metamorphosis itself.A human transforming into an insect is near impossible(unless its a sci-fi movie) and downright absurd.In my opinion it symbolizes loss of identity in a way.When one becomes too generic and does not stand out,having nothing special makes him ‘an insect’ in this world.This was how Gregor’s life was,since he worked the same monotonous job stuck in the same position and having the same middle class position in society.He had no identity of his own.Another comparison that I think is apt is lack of communication.Like humans literally cannot communicate with an insect,similarly Gregor has lost all communication with his family.He is so immersed in being the bread earner of the house that he has no clue what his family is actually like.
The entire book is an abstract,absurd concept,but for me the weirdest part will always be the ending.It is a sudden shift from insanity to normalcy.People around have several strong opinions about this book,and how it just doesn’t make sense and is an unnecessary piece of writing.I actually think the book is a clever and iconic piece of literature.It pretty much brings Surrealism into words.It was a short,bittersweet and enjoyable read for me and I’m glad I had the opportunity to do so.