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.

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Process Analysis: Scientific Investigation

Science is an interesting subject, not only because of its wideness. The most important spirit of science is to dive deeply into the sea of nature. For instance, scientific investigation is one of the most effective methods for development of science. Especially in the field of biology and geology, scientific investigation is an excellent tool to prove such hypothesis. Based on nothing harmful for the ecosystem, investigators could proceed a large amount of research strategies.

Generally, to complete a scientific investigation, we have 3 steps: First, choose a place, a time, and write a plan. Second, go to that place and collect some facts. Third, analyze the facts we get and draw a conclusion. Strategies are also significant, here I would like to show my own experience about this process.

About two years ago, some people and I went to investigate a wetland park that was placed inside a natural protection area. Our aim was to discover how plants in this area affect this system. It was autumn, deciduous leaves turned yellow, and reed was obviously stood in the lake. All the wetland seemed tranquil. Except for some birds’ tweeting and our discussing, there were no other sounds. I couldn’t help myself to record my first impression at that time. Mostly, researchers would like to choose spring to conduct their investigations because all the creatures come out and behave actively. However, autumn is also a good season for investigators, isn’t it? The scenario will be different from what you often see, and what you compose will be different from what most researchers write. Also, the aim should fit the conditions,  autumn will not influence animals as well.

The main populations inside this park must be mangroves, these evergreen trees are only visible in tropic areas. They demand a lot of aspects of conditions so that they could live perfectly. It is more suitable for them to live beside salty intertidal belts. Actually, they also need little anaerobic environment to live, and there shouldn’t be so much powder diffused in the air. That seems very bizarre because most plants would like to live in nearly different conditions, they need oxygen to proceed their respiration. But since mangroves’ adaptation of the moist atmosphere, oxygen isn’t important for them. I asked professor about the principle, she just said that, “They utilize their cells to take in more water than other plants, and the result is that they could be strong enough to prevent them from being attacked by typhoon.” By that time I nodded. Try to think something in new angles, you will find some advantages for these kind of trees’ characteristics. If face some difficulties, asking some experts is also a great choice.

Since mangroves are defenders in a way, there should be some secrets about their abilities to make a living. We had opportunities to closely approach a mangrove tree. During observation, we knew that mangroves had a lot of branched roots that make the ground irregular, and a center root was directly insert into the land. Tangled together, the roots made the trees tough. In order to adapt surrounding environment, some trees would develop fleshy leaves to keep water. They were able to control the concentration of salts freely, because the crystals on the surface of the trees could be the evidence. We also found some pod-like objects and found some embryonic roots inside it, some of the mangroves can even be viviparous! Across these surprising discoveries, it is undoubted to say that mangroves could be the winners after natural selection. Remember, observation is the most important tool to get the firsthand information, and compare it to the others, you could know some more details.

In Chinese, mangroves meant “red trees”. But why these trees’ leaves were not red? Professor answered, “We name them because of the colors of their barks, not their leaves. You may imagine that their leaves should be red, but actually they are green as well as other common plants.” Look carefully, the barks of them were really slightly redder than those of other trees. “From these barks, we can extract some chemicals such as tannin to produce red dye.” said professor. “But for Kandelia candel, a kind of mangrove, which is green everywhere in its body, is also belongs to the same genus. The reason is that it is viviparous, and the seeds are deep red. That’s why it is linked to ‘red trees’.”

The most important thing during scientific investigation is still the spirit of discovering and curiosity. If we have passion to proceed this process, it will be an eureka moment if we find the answer to a confusing puzzle. Of course, we will also be delighted since we are willing to denote for this research.

In general, scientific investigation is very interesting process. If you really do it, you will find it not only let you know more things about nature but also make you more experienced in the wild world.