The Reason, Process, and Meanings behind Gregor’s Transformation in the Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis presents a story about a man’s alienation from his family: Gregor, working arduously for his family, suddenly turns into a bug, and progressively gets abandoned by his parents and sister. However, beyond this abrupt event, Gregor already is a social “vermin” – justified by his inability to execute individuality; his transformation is, in my opinion, also a gradual process that not only symbolizes the changes in his perspectives toward his surroundings, but also the alteration of his family’s thoughts about himself.

Gregor’s transformation illustrates his problems about general isolation from modern society that put expectations to his hard-working. Long before Gregor turns into a vermin, he has wished to get equally well-treated with his colleagues and family members but fails. As Gregor says, “That’s all I’d have to try with my boss; I’d be fired on the spot. Anyway, who knows if that wouldn’t be a very good thing for me. If I didn’t hold back for my parents’ sake, I would have quit long ago.” (1.5), he is constrained by the working conditions that force him to get up early while seeing other workers enjoying their breakfast. Turning into a giant bug seems a fulfillment of his will to get rid of this job. In addition, he is the only one who can support the family, but after this transformation deprives him of the ability to work, every member attempts to expel him without considering his contribution, further suggesting his verminous position before the metamorphosis really takes place.

The establishing process of transformation stems from Gregor’s tedious lifestyle. Working as a traveling salesman, he can presumably get to know a lot of things from outside world. Instead, he complains that there cannot be long-enduring relationships with other people around this business. Besides, he cannot have the time like his family members to get relaxation from reading newspapers, playing music instruments, etc. Such monotonous life mode makes him distasteful, as depicted after his waking up: “His room, a regular human room, only a little on the small side, lay quiet between the four familiar walls.” (1.2) Though Gregor is familiar with the room, he feels uncomfortable about it, as emphasized by the phrase “regular human room”.

Despite Gregor’s literal transformation, there are more, symbolically, transformations about his entire family. His father most directly shows the outrage toward Gregor, and as he returns to his job, wearing up the clothes, he regains the authority of supporting family and controlling Gregor’s will. His mother, being stunned by the moment as she sees the vermin, feels desperate about her son’s mishap but later turns in to suppress her anxiety. What’s more is about Greta’s transformation: “She had in fact noticed that Gregor needed plenty of room to crawl around in; and on the other hand, as best she could tell, he never used the furniture at all” (2.22). As Greta notices her brother’s needs, she comes to be more decisive in taking care of Gregor, accompanying the decrease of Gregor’s agency. This is even testified later when Gregor scares the boarders away, it is Greta who makes the ultimate decision to get rid of Gregor as the family is dealing with a kitchen bug.

Summing up all the points about the why, how, and what about his transformation, Gregor is unhappy about his situations, living with a verminous lifestyle. The transformation makes him lose respect and the ability to support family, but also changes the entire family’s roles, as exemplified by Greta’s increasing agency of making decisions.

Works Cited

“The Metamorphosis.” by Franz Kafka. Trans. David Wyllie. Sweden: Wisehouse Classics, 2015. Print.


Bourgeoisie’s Anxiety

Nowadays, more and more families decide to send their children study abroad. Despite those definitely rich people who regard the tuition fee as an ignorable fraction of their income, more and more middle classes, including my family, also make this choice. What’s different, though, is that we have to make plan to use money.

No need to mention my motivation beyond studying abroad. The core question is, why would my parents overcome the challenge of great cost and support my education? From the beginning of my high school life, anything about testing, studying, and applying is tied to certain expense.

Standardized tests are necessary part for our profile. However, registering for a test is, though not that costly, still countable to my parents’ weekly salary. For rich students’ ideals, it is good to test frequently and show the greatest score to the application office. But for the relatively poor students like me, I have to decide when is the most suitable schedule for me to plan a test and guarantee that I cannot lose the chance to best behave myself at that time. You now perceive the stress. Moreover, lack of context also puts stereotype threat to me. I must to confess that rich people really experience more about the world, and they have greater insights to certain questions. It seems inevitable for me to be considered less knowledgeable.

Cram school. Yes, in this generation full of intelligent people, it is common to see many students studying in such a place. We see from a lot of institutions hosting such auxiliary classes that their advertisements are great lists of students who get high scores on specific tests, thus implicitly propagating the effectiveness of aided education. But the cost is even far higher than the standardized testing fee itself. When preparing for such an exam, rich students really put great efforts in cram school. On the contrary, I am not able to assess the class simply because I have to seriously manage my cost. Furthermore, there are many academic competitions that require exceptional skills on certain subject field, and I heard my peers taking part in the course and got big, big, big prize. Is the prize really big? Or, it is just exaggerated by those cram institutions. Well, at least my careful listening to the school class and self-study technique work for me to win prizes important for my career interest.

College application is more of a big deal, even the cost of testing and studying is relatively too cheap to be mentioned. Of course, the application fee is not expensive, but the expenditure beyond the college application could be so enormous for some students who get to… Oh, the next thing I am going to say may be sensitive. Due to incomplete statistic, the majority of the international students in my district take agencies. You might not know this, let me explain this term to you. Generally, the agency is an institution which manage registered students’ materials and give them advice about the best way to succeed during application period. Sometimes, students who get to agencies earlier in high school do extracurricular activities out of their suggestions. It seems that the applicants who do not have an agency but apply by themselves are heretics, and even my community of international applicants make a term for this – DIY applicant. I am not completely DIY, though; I just use another way to aid my application, that is to ask help from seniors and my own school’s counselors. They are totally free and are glad to solve my problems.

We bourgeoisies are really not in advantage about these matters. However, we have different mindset from those of rich students which put more emphasis on intrapersonal intelligence. To make ourselves more self-aware is to make ourselves more outstanding.


How gift should be mattered?

(It’s Christmas now, I see classmates are enthusiastically exchanging gifts with each other. Surely, I got some gifts. But was I satisfied? Is it necessary for me to be regretful if I do not get any present? Here I would like to share my little thoughts about this aspect.)

In the present society, gift, or material reward, has been regarded as a manifestation for someone’s accomplishment of different goals. Basically, the larger the gift given, the prouder the receiver will feel. However, this is too a stereotypical view for me since it does not guarantee a student to have a good perception about the gift itself. What’s more important should be how the “gift” means.

I remembered a time when I had a birthday party. As usual, one of my best friends came in my house and greeted me, presenting a cheap but elegantly-made artifact. Inside this gift hid a letter with encouraging words for my later campus life. I speculated that the present would enthrall me a lot, not on the size, but on the conveyance of positive thoughts.

At the same time, I saw other students arrived and carried big toys into the room. They really looked precious and treasurable. But what’s their meanings? Even though these presents were expensive, at least in my thoughts, I did not think they could impress deep into my mind, since these toys were of not great significances but just a representation of givers’ benign toward their friends.

Therefore, it is to the gift’s own significance, not its price or size, that manifest the purest friendship. No wonder people nowadays need expensive stuffs for maintaining relations. But don’t forget the core value of gift-giving. If people truly consider about what they are supposed to present, I think the world will be filled with positive energy.


Rejected by ED – Bad News, or Good News for me?

Today, the college I applied for early decision has notified the admission results for all its applicants. At the moment I clicked the mailbox, my heart bumped so tightly, then loosely, then tightly again. This awkward sensation continued until the result was clear in front of my eye: “Dear Fan … I regret to have to let you know that we are unable to offer you admission.” Suddenly, I did feel something constraint was released, but did not feel anything sad at all. The little sentence that came out of my mind was “Well, this college is so cool that it just rejected a student who is going to shade great lights on it.”

Or, maybe not? In fact, this college is not of my first choice, but I did throw out a chance to ED it, because its fancy description of its biology majors catches my eyes. The drawback is, however, that I may not be so well behaved in the not-my-favorite, and the tuition fee is a bit high. So, I just wait until now to see the consequence.

My objectives now seem stereotypical for those “perfect” Chinese applicants, but there is a little trick with ACT test. Because when I hand in the application form to that ED college, my October ACT has not been released, so I have to fill in my April ACT score. The April score is decent, but not satisfactory in the present moment, because I truly made a progress during the half year period. Logically deducing, using my April score to apply for that college is risky, because my April result shows I am in 96th percentile of the examinees, while that college requires, presumably, 98th, or even 99th percentile. This is the gap that seems small but actually very steep, as you know about the normal distribution: The number of top 4% students is four times the top 1% students. That seems that I have only about a quarter of those top 1% students’ chance to be admitted, while not all the top 1% are eligible for admission. Unfortunately, when the satisfying October score is released, there is no time for me to send the corresponding report to my ED college.

Subjective information? It should be taken in account too. Well, I am confident that at least there is nothing fake, wrong or disappointing with personal statements.

During admission, we are not fond of geographic conditions. But it turns out that we still need a temperature range that is fit for our body conditions. Do not judge me through my slightly chubby bear-like appearance; I am really not tolerant of even below 0 degree Celsius. Glad that my ED college decided not to make me solely stand in its cold air. Otherwise, my nose would get a tough time sneezing in that chilly temperate climate. I live in Shenzhen, and been to Israel… Experiences tell me that, subtropical monsoon or Mediterranean climates might be better.

All right, enough for chit chat. There is a phrase remind me: “Good things are a long time in coming.” Certainly, my personal history has a lot of situations that are similar in their influence in my emotions. Initially I am depressed, but as I progress toward, I will twist up to the summit and enjoy the fruits of success. Just like when I was in 9th grade. At the beginning, I was only, to say, in upper middle position of my junior school, and people around me did not expect that I could even get into the top 8 high schools in my city. Many excellent students had already get enrolled into some of the famous high schools through early decision. However, as I worked hard for preparing the entrance exam, I got in Shenzhen Middle School! ACT score, too, does give me a lot of enlightenment on that. And I think it is time to boost me up to a higher level of education that I look upon to. Wish me good luck in the following months!

Compare and Contrast the Force from A New Hope and the Way from Taoist ideals

The Force from A New Hope and the Way in Taoism present two great distinctive beliefs. The Force, an energy field created by all li

ving things that bestows individuals with idealistic courage, surrounds and penetrates them; the Way, on the other hand, is the mysterious, unnamable process through which everything in the universe happens, teaching people to be less attentive to the glory from material world.

The Force provides people with means of completing some challenging quests that could render great results, regardless of what they have. In A New Hope, it is a natural power contrary to a more technological power the Death Star uses. To show this, the Rebels and heroes are seen in more natural settings like deserts and forests while the Empire is seen in large technological settings. As the mentor Obi-wan Kenobi always says to Luke, “May the Force be with you.”, this sentence acts as a spiritual guide to Luke’s journey and gives him determination, which is a clear distinction with Darth Vader’s emphasis on brutal destruction. For instance, when he is going for a mission to destroy the Death Star, there are many missiles from his enemies that block his way. Commonly, he is not able to handle this situation by himself, but every moment the sentence flashes back to his mind, he can pay more attention toward the mission and be less stressed. In a way, the Force goes beyond the superiority of technology and makes something impossible come true.

By contrast, the Way emphasizes more about the balance between gain and loss throughout lifetime. If people is enlightened by it, they will be guided to understand the benefits and drawbacks of certain deeds. Also, the Way reduces the distinction between different things but rather integrate them into a whole. “Heaven and earth are ruthless, and treat the myriad creatures as straw dogs; the sage is ruthless, and treats the people as straw dogs.” (5.1-2) Under Taoist view, all the living things are under the same world, that they should be treated equally, since their existences have certain meanings that people should not depreciate. To reinforce the idea, Daodejing points out that the Way in which stricter and stricter laws create crime and stifle a country’s productivity. As people are members of the society, they need to obey the law of nature regardless of how powerful they are. In conclusion, it is feasible to say that the Way goes beyond the superiority of rules – the confinement – and makes something absurd explicable.

Though the Force and the Way differ in many perspectives, they share the ideal intellect of having people completing certain important goals. As Luke is able to defeat dreadful enemies and finally save princess Leia and her planet behind so many challenges through the encouragement of the Force, he has to think about the negative effects about his journey, like what the Way considers. Even though A New Hope does not have any mention about the Way, it actually exists throughout the storyline: As the Death Star’s evil plan irritates the Rebels, the Force comes into action to urge the heroes wiping out the vicious authority, giving Darth Vader a painful compensation.

In general, the Force and the Way both in a degree present people’s ideals about the right behaviors, but the Force can also be seen as a metaphysical power that prompts individuals to be dedicated to their actions, while the Way puts more emphasis on the two sides of a single event, benefiting, also punishing, the person who takes part in it.


Works Cited

“Star Wars: A New Hope” 20th Century Fox. Washington D.C.: L. George, 1977.

“Daodejing.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Trans. D.C. Lau. Third ed. Vol.A. New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2012, 1347-1354. Print.


Why biology?

When first encountering the discipline – biology – I felt greatly astonished by its ability to help me explore about wonderful secrets about life: I knew how people grow, live, and have their common physiological processes being fixed and integrated. But in the real world, there are much imperfection in human bodies such as illness. Nowadays, medical technologies have been developed to an advanced level, improving much better in their treatments toward serious diseases. However, this development still does not benefit congenital ones.

I have met a younger child called Rain who was the son of my mother’s good friend. The first thing I noticed was his strange appearance. He was shorter than I expected, possessing a stagnant eyesight. Having a round face, big nostrils, and thick lips which even let me thought he was an alien, he kindly smiled and said hello. Forging my fear of approaching him, I kindly introduced myself and talked about what are going around my daily life. Rain, in turn, started long speech about his experiences. Though his illogical flow of words, with murmured pronunciation, was once difficult for me to understand his sentences, I finally came to fathom what he was talking about. From that day on, we became friends and frequently trade information between each other.

Still, my mother, being aware of Rain’s abnormality, asked his parents about what’s the problems with his appearance and speaking. The response was shocking: Rain got Down’s syndrome since he was born. His parents, though could not initially accept his strange outlook, raise him with the regard that he is a normal child. But years passed by, his parents discerned that there might be some problems. After sending Rain to have a professional physical examination, his parents were stunned at the addition of a chromosome. I thought that he could be normal again, but my mother told me that this disease could not be cured since it was inborn.

I could not bear the truth even though it was strongly corroborated. Hiding this secret to Rain, I gained deeper approach to him after series of recreational activities. In definition, Down’s syndrome had its patients unable to cognize the world holistically. But I saw his painting, which once really enthralled me by the portrayal of the animals and plants. Beside this, I admired his dancing skills which had the paces being coordinated and rhythmed. Even I could not reach that high standard. In general, I could perceive many of the life’s best details being captured by his little body, sparkling great amount of his knowledge of the world to me. Nevertheless, I did know that he could get out of the sufferings of his inborn disease.

Through high school study about biology, I came to know about more things about the virtue of lifeforms. There always exist materials of inheritance – genes – that can determine people’s physical and behavioral traits since their birth. But when abnormality comes, such as the alteration in humans’ chromosomes which hold many of the genes, people’s traits will be disrupted, forming some distinct but negative characteristics for them that prevent their life from proceeding like a normal person. Though in the present, there have not been cure for such diseases, gene therapy, a branch of the bioengineering, started to apply in various treatment toward different inborn diseases that were caused by only small changes in people’s genes.

But what about those diseases resulting from the anomaly of chromosomes? Basing on this question, here I apply for the college I applied for with the aim to seek the answer. Through various fields of research opportunities offered by the university I applied for, I could gain a lot of insight into the solution of many of these human sufferings, not only for the theoretical one, but also in the realm of real-life application, which could authentically provide the innocently influenced people with hopes to live a happy life.

Contrast of the Deeds and Character Traits of Beowulf and Aeneas

Beowulf and The Aeneid present two great heroes with distinctive characteristics and stories. Beowulf, disbelieving about determinism, is a brutal and arrogant warrior who kills monsters for glory without any god’s help; Aeneas, on the other hand, is a person who, called by fate, defeats enemies with supernatural aid and shows responsibility for people.

Beowulf, being regarded as a pagan, possesses pride about his glorious past as well as violence toward foes. It is not difficult to see that Beowulf challenges what he deserves to be. “Often, for undaunted courage, fate spares the man it has not already marked.” (572-573) Beowulf makes this claim early in the poem when he describes his swimming contest. Though the narrator of Beowulf believes God determines everyone’s fate, Beowulf claims that if people’s fate has not been decided yet, they can succeed through sheer courageous behavior. This tenet becomes Beowulf’s path toward glory which could be illustrated by his fierce single combat against Grendel without any weapon. Actually, his courage is so strong that swords even weaken his abilities, as evidenced by Hrunting (1458) and Naegling (2680) that both render futility of battle. It is to his Scandinavian nature that Beowulf pursues for treasure as a symbol for his victory, since he realizes that death is inevitable. Therefore, any reward for him can be regarded as significant for his individual achievement. Even he perishes after fighting against the dragon, his reputation has been deeply established in his fellows’ mind.

By contrast, Aeneas is empathetic with his people and destined to accomplish many quests with the help of divinity. “I am Aeneas, duty-bound, and known / Above high air of heaven by my fame, Carrying with me in my ships our gods / Of hearth and home, saved from the enemy. I look for Italy to be my fatherland, And my descent is from all-highest Jove.” (1.519-524) This is how Aeneas introduces himself to the huntress he meets in the forest of Libya. They reveal how much his mission and responsibilities make up his identity. He perceives duty as more important than his own gain: when he falls in love with Dido, he is reminded of his goal and quickly decides to leave her but continues his journey toward the revival of his followers. Although his power is finite and limited, he is able to achieve great arms from gods that propel his triumph over his opponents. Through the war against Turnus, it can be deduced that he also has the will to ask for help from other groups of people if he is not able to handle some situations by himself. Even he wins, however, Aeneas may show sympathy for his enemies and spares them when they are powerless.

Though Beowulf and Aeneas differ in many perspectives, they share the courage and wit of completing their important goals. As Beowulf is able to defeat dreadful monsters without any other people’s help and grab his treasure for his glorious commemoration, Aeneas, being blessed with his additional strength, can also walk through the dangerous adventure and reach his fulfilling accomplishment. Both Beowulf and Aeneas are great figures during their time when certain ideologies play a large role in contemporary societies, regardless of how they overcome the many challenges place in front of them.

Summing up all the points about the two heroes’ deeds and character traits, Beowulf and Aeneas both in some way present people’s ideals about great men, but the brutal and boastful Beowulf can also be seen as an individual who pursues for his own lifelong glory, while the dutiful and fateful Aeneas is more like an idol who is able to conquer the quests for his folks.


Works Cited

“Beowulf.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Trans. Suzanne Akbari. Third ed. Vol.B. New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2012, 112-182. Print.

“The Aeneid.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Trans. Robert Fagles. Third ed. Vol.A. New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2012, 965-1072. Print.


On the Current Situation of Chinese Business & Science Students: What’s our future?

This problem has long been controversial since the strong wave of studying abroad. Chinese students, especially those who are in high school, who would like to pursue their profession in an international setting, go to foreign countries for college.

However, recent statistics show that most of those kind of Chinese students take business as their major. At least in our school which sends them out of China, the percentage has been up to about sixty percent. No wonder that since most of the students in SMS have their parents being in high positions hoping their children to replace them year long, the competitions among us are rather intensive, yet destructive to certain kind of students. I do not mean to say that debate – the activity which is deliberately emphasized as the “most” valuable event among SMS students by those “authority figures” – is what makes someone extremely reputed. But we cannot escape the atmosphere of debate. Even during presentation of researches, students still want to debunk others in order to highlight their presenting skills.

Maybe I digress from the main topic. OK, so here is the problem: Students who are interested in business are naturally more capable of persuading. It is not an inborn attribute, but, in my opinion, due to their career requirement. Because in reality, businessmen are really charismatic, not only in their tidy appearance, but also in their grandiose speech making talent, they surely practice corresponding ideology a lot. Well, what about we science students? You probably think that we are dull, nerdish, and incapable of good communication. This prejudice, though we do not care about (Why we care?), can seriously influence our career procedure. High school, for instance, plays an important role in developing individual’s personality. And the business students, who have already been fluent in English, become leaders in various situations, for their charisma. Science students, though envy about this thing, cannot naturally achieve leadership. Just like what I mention about the debate matter, business students have their inspiring speech widely dispersed around the hall, beating up science students strictly (if science students really compete in debate). This makes the “nerds” hard to stay in a peaceful situation. They like peace, but business students despoil it.

What’s ironic is that in China, those who are sent abroad to study business have their jobs being fixed with high salary. Because of the lack of job opportunities, science students who are placed in passive situations, are forced to open up companies for themselves. That sounds weird, but it is true. Colleges are sites for science students to improve their knowledge scale, and, with the aid of philosophy, dedicate into academia. But applications have flaws. Business students are able to make what’s wrong to true, so they basically can walk through the process very easily. But science students, being relatively lack of experiences, have to look for certain materials to fit in the personal essays, and finally act as victims of the discrimination. If science students do not get their deserved education, what could they do for research?

Actually, science students are not so that bad in their school. We focus on the practical matters, and pay great respect toward different scientific researches. They, or we, can have already been unmoved by the turbulent competitions. Business students seek benefits for themselves, but science students seek benefits for human society. (There might be some charitable business people and selfish scientists, but here what I talk about is the majority.) Therefore, as applicants, business and science students, in fact, have reach the same point in a race. Though science students are not appealing for their school, they can express their intentions toward the college staff, making them really be recognized by talented individuals. As a result, we, science students, are confident about our life in high school, whenever in what occasion we are. We are prudent in field study, but we are also determined in society.


On the Nature of Clubs

There are a lot of clubs that are very intriguing for students to join in. However, it is usually perceivable that the leader of the club, who takes the absolutely highest charge of the entire community, forces other participants to follow his or her instruction unconditionally. This phenomenon is very popular among the entire campus atmosphere, though a lot of students feel disgusted by the leader’s oligarchical will.

Generally, clubs are groups that contain certain members with similar interests to conduct such things that are very distinctive. Of course, they should not be considered as companies because they are not so relationship-based. But nowadays, many clubs in campus are acting like that, appalling a lot of potentially personalists to take part in the job. It is true that a personalist leader could be acclaimed by its mere ability to organize the entire club well, but this kind of ideology should not be perpetuated even in the campus community. Or I may consider them as caring too much about their fame and reputation.

Some cases are, obviously, that personalist leaders could lead the clubs into huge success. As we know about such reputed clubs for their grandiose works done by the entire staff, and those crafts are not solely created by the leaders, but by their fellows. The leaders just need to make some rumors or vocally decorate the entire clubs. But what about the common? They could only listen carefully to the leader’s dogma, ensuring their works are not intended to interest themselves, but to interest their leaders. Isn’t this a kind of humanitarian terrorism? Maybe the clubs could be famous for their production, but I’m sure that their members are not glad at seeing such effortless personalist leader being reputed by a lot of people who get acquainted with the clubs. Members need freedom, too.

A club shall be a place for students to take more charges on, regardless of what positions the participants are in. By doing this, the clubs may be more active in developing their professions and get more access to various resources because most of the members are willing to do jobs. Also, people make mistakes; it is less risky to let a lot people to have commissions about the plans rather than to make a leader directly command an army to recklessly fight for clubs themselves. It is more joyful for all the members being reputed if such a club like this get famous. Generally said, “Rose given, fragrance in hands.” If we get conscious about the development of clubs, it should be clear that certain club should not be filled with so many hierarchies, and students should take their full determination to get the clubs more efficient in order to fulfill their own interests.


Who Am I For Ben Franklin?

There are lot of things to say about one’s personality and individuality based on different classification systems. Due to Franklin’s theory, I am classified into both those that are movable and those that move, depending on in what occasions I am in.

Generally, when I am in businesses, I “move” by actively participating in the work while pay as much effort as I can to have my job done well. If things can get better, I do self-encouragement, which is the best way for me to dedicate much more into the work. Introspection is another way for reducing such mistakes and taking more viable actions. Though sometimes, I may not be the most leading factor for propelling the process, I still would like to devote myself to improve the efficiency and the result.

But as I am getting close to others, I naturally behave phlegmatically and do not put to much emphasis about my self-interest while forget about others’ feelings. Instead, carefully listening to others’ points of view may trigger more open discussion and topics for us. Therefore, I become “movable” in this time. As people get along with me, I pay attention to their will, following their interests if they sound not bad for me. In my opinion, the development of relationship is due to catering to each other, and such things could be “moved” when they come up with consensus.