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.

Biodiversity is in Danger

Nowadays, people have already notice the problems of the environment. Since people waste too many resources, some kinds of creatures have nothing to eat. Thus, how to protect the biosphere is a serious challenge. Without millions of species, the earth would be a dead planet.

So first of all, it is necessary for us to know about a very important term—biodiversity.

Biodiversity means the magnitude of diversity with different species in a specific region. Every creatures in the nature are dependent on each other. Without plants, animals cannot survive. If there are no insects to deliver the pollen, many angiosperm plants could not be reproductive. Also, dead corpses can’t be dissociated without decomposers, and the cycle of substances will not be existing. Inside rain forest, the growth of a tree mainly due to the absorption of nutrients. Some bears even eat leaves, and lichens are placed on their backs. According to the statement above, we can see that one creature could provide a niche for another one.

As different populations live in the same community, they live together in the same condition. Although ecologists discover that different species have some relationships, but these relationships are still mystery. However, currently, scientists find a very important law that when one species disappears in a region, this region would suffer from some changes. For example, there is one species always eats some kinds of animals or plants, if the animals and plants die out across the food chain or food web, the food chain or food web will be totally broken and the numbers of this individual will be diminished. When predators leave a district, the species being predated will reproduce rapidly and overturn the capacity of the ecosystem. Similarly, if one of the symbiotic species disappears, the other species left along would also be influenced.

Biodiversity makes the structure of ecosystem more stable. If one ecosystem could keep its biodiversity, it is tended to be very steady; but if the species changes, the balance of this ecosystem will be disturbed. Moreover, biodiversity is very important for human’s life. For instance, aerobic respiration needs oxygen, and most of the oxygen comes from some species that could proceed photosynthesis. At the same time, because of biodiversity, human beings get their demanding foods, medicines and so on.

Extinction means one species disappears from the Earth. It is a natural process, during the history of geology, there are many catastrophes that account for extinction. Scientists predict that in every million species, there is about one species dies out annually. However recently, the speed of extinction is greater than any other times before. Hence scientists make a hypothesis which states that because of the demands of human being, the destruction of habitat and the land development, the acceleration of extinction is revealed.

The main factor that affects the decrease of the biodiversity is the disappearance of habitats. From 1970 to 1980, in the Amazon rain forest, thousands of hectares of forest are cultivated into meadow, and trees are cut down for the usage of firewood. This forest has nothing functional after several yeas, because the soil of rain forest is not suitable for cultivating crops. However, the cultivation of land makes the habitats disappear, and it is difficult to reconstruct them. And because of that, some animals and plants are threatened to extinction.

Habitat fragmentation means the large area of the habitat is separated into smaller fragments or islands under the human activities. The fragmentation of habitat will bring these consequences: The acceleration of the extinction of local species, the resistance of ecological process, colonization of exotic species, the insidious danger of fire disaster and the change of local climate. As the habitat is separated into smaller and smaller area, the biodiversity of this region will be simpler and simpler. Because when one species moves out from a region, other species that depends on it has no insurance about foods, so the population would decrease. Finally, the biodiversity of this region diminished rapidly. The habitat fragmentation causes geographical isolation, and then is the genetic isolation. Because if the habitat is very tiny, it is difficult for species to find opportunities to reproduce.

The other factor that threaten biodiversity is the habitat degradation. It is majorly due to the environment pollution. Atmospheric pollution will cause many diseases such as the stimulation of noses and eyes. And aquatic pollution could be fatal to species living in water, especially fishes. Since people fertilize so much phosphorous into the soil and give out so much industrial polluted water, a lot of polluted substances are created. When these substances enter rivers, streams, lakes and oceans, the ability of self-cleaning is decreased. And it strongly affects creatures live in water.

Therefore, we can see that any events that influence the ecosystem could bring negative effects, even though it benefits human beings themselves. But as we can see, the results are unexpected, only the protection of biodiversity could keep the earth evergreen forever. In this place, everyone should has the duty to take actions to do something to save the environment, and even save our planet.

Analysis of the Catcher in the Rye

One of the most well-known novels all over the world is called The Catcher in the Rye, which is written by Jerome David Salinger, a famous American author. There is no doubt that this book is extremely attractive because of its distinguishing plot. The story just happened in a high school student named Holden Caulfield. Although the duration of Holden’s experience is only about three days, David Salinger makes a lot of efforts and they make the story seem not so boring. He uses many rhetorical skills to explore the heart inside a teenager. Since the thoughts and experiences of the protagonist, Holden, identify with nearly all the teenagers at that time, this book became very famous among the readers especially young children and teens.

The main plot of the novel is always surrounds Holden. The reason why the plot is majorly about Holden because the author uses first person to tell the story. This method is very appropriate for us to know the feelings of Holden. Furthermore, every things are narrated by him, and these things are truly happened to himself. “I” is one of the words that usually appears in this novel, it will spontaneously brings some amiable sensation, and it is convenient for the author to express Holden’s emotion. It also reduces the distance between the readers and the protagonist and makes the plot more constructive. However, there are also some disadvantages of using the first person. Because of the limits of narrative, these things can only told by “me” that happened to “myself”. If something just happened to others and it is not be experienced by “me”, it may be harder for readers to understand other characters’ feelings about something. In my point of view, readers are more willing to read the innovative first person paragraphs. Hence, there are still more benefits than disadvantages.

Inside the story, there are also many symbols in not only the backgrounds or settings but also in some specific objects. For example, Pencey symbolizes the mainstream culture in the United States. In 1950s, American is in peaceful situation after so many dangers, and many modern productions make people just look like robots, their life is simple but not so colorful. Pencey is also that kind of production. It makes all the students like the same people. However, Holden is the example who is not satisfy with it. (page 4&5, chapter 1) At the beginning of this book, almost everyone in the school is watching the football game with a team called Saxon Hall. But Holden just stands on the top of Thomsen Hill and watches the crowd yelling or cheering. His attitude shows that he is not care about the mainstream culture, and this is one of the reasons why he will be kicked out of the school. On the contrary, New York is the symbol of subcultures. Inside this big city, many new cultures appear in each corners.

Many people might feel very embarrassed because of their individual appearances so does Holden. (page 11, chapter 2) Because of Holden’s half gray hair, he is a bit hesitated because gray hair means oldness. As an teenager, Holden has already know some adults’ principles and he even has some bad habits which are usually adults’, but he is also a bit childish. This maybe also why Holden feels very different from others.

Sally, one of the supporting characters, also is very important in the development of the plot. (page 138, chapter 17) From “She looked terrific.” to “I swear to god I’m crazy, I admit it.” It just seems that they fell in love with each other because Holden uses positive words to describe her. But after Holden offer to take Sally to be hermit. She can’t well understand what Holden means. They quarrel with each other. (page 149, chapter 17) In the end of this chapter, Holden uses some negative words to mock Sally. After all, Holden’s world is full of Sally, but this conflict makes him depressed. In my opinion, maybe their mind is not synchronized enough, and it is hard for them to communicate with each other. However, this thing really changed Holden a lot, and it tells him not to concern about this thing again, it’s no use.

And, as I can know from the book is that Holden is a very dissolute boy. In his own world, the most important thing is not studying. He just hope for the freedom. Though he often say some words that are not appropriate for us to say, this is his personality, this is him. Maybe some guys in the society are not be accepted by us because of their random behaviors, but we couldn’t condemn them. On the contrary, we have duty to protect them, and we need to lead them to a correct way. Also, from the story, Holden is not unconcerned about everyone. He has a little sister Phoebe. From the novel, almost every chapter has a very clear word “Phoebe”. Maybe the birth of this girl brings him many surprises and he treasures the noble possession—the vigorous life. He has the consciousness to take good care of his little sister, and he tries his best to make her happy. (page 220, chapter 25) From “Dear Phoebe” to”Love, Holden” this is a letter written from Holden to Phoebe. Although this letter is very short, only about fifty words, but it is filled with love and nostalgia. The content of this letter is that Holden wants to say goodbye to Phoebe and initiate his journey to the west. “I will give you your Christmas dough back. I didn’t spend much.” From the sentence, Holden offers some gifts to Phoebe and the diction is very friendly. I think it is fortunate of Phoebe that she has a very kind brother who always care about herself. And wherever Holden is, he always brings a lot of warmth to Phoebe. This novel also perfectly explain the emotion between the older brother and the younger sister.

According to the analysis and report I made, the paragraphs are mainly about the background of the author, the structure, the symbols, some details and some of my feelings about the book. During the course of reading, I can not only catch more literary terms but also know about the plot, and a very special teenager who is in old time. In conclusion, though there may be some inappropriate words such as “damn” or “hell”, after I finish reading, I feel that I become a bit more mature than before. And I believe it will encourage me in the rest of my life.