English Literature Blog publishing Articles,Essays and Research Papers based on Fiction and Non Fiction, Theories,Criticism, Creative Writing etc. Author and Copyright : Vipin Behari Goyal
Author of several English novels.
Franz Kafka’s story “The
Metamorphosis” begins like this “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from
uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.
He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his
head a little he could see his dome like brown belly divided into stiff arched
surely was talking about the metamorphosis of the main character into a
cockroach. One fine morning - the author does not admit it to be fine for
obvious reasons - the main character Gregor Samsa was metamorphosed into
a cockroach. The universally accepted definition of metamorphosis is “the
process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in two or more
distinct stages(in an insect or amphibian)”. The author seems to be of opinion
that Gregor Samsa was immature,who by metamorphosis is transformed into a cockroach,
which is an ‘adult form’ of ‘human form’. Well, there is no need to feel
Look at this single cell
lowest creature in the animal kingdom called Amoeba. It performs all the
functions of eating, walking, sleeping and reproducing by his single cell body.
His all acts are precisely balanced. He would develop limbs (Pseudopodia)
depending on the distance it wants to walk. He would reproduce when his
security is in danger. The process is amazingly simple and unemotional. Obviously,
he has a thinking mind. Human beings are a complex structure of 37.2 trillion
cells to perform all these functions. To complicate it further, he has a mind
filled with ego, emotions and logic.
Critics search for metaphors, simile,
satire and symbols even in simple prose written with honest intentions. Therefore,
they presume that human life is reduced to an insect for the people living in
ghettos. Let us not forget that Kafka was a Jew and was brought up by a father
who was a strict disciplinarian. How low somebody can make you feel? A worm? An
While T. S. Eliot in “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
“And when I am
formulated, sprawling on a pin, When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall” . There is a lot of difference in feeling like a worm and
feeling like an insect.The cockroach is now a beautiful teenage girl, with all habits of her original form. Let us
call her Molly. As a cockroach she lived in a deserted
house because it was safe for inhabitation. She knew human beings despised them
a lot and are always well prepared to kill them on first sight. She felt safe
and healthy to live in this deserted apartment. Nobody bothered her here and she
could live a solitary life wandering in the whole big apartment.
The female cockroach Molly
use to live in a nearby junk house. She was a member of a big community there. The
Relationship was not important. Nobody cared for blood relations. Any grown up
could mate with anyone. She was teenage considering her life span to be 1.5 years.
“Calling position”(to invite males to copulate) came very naturally to her and
her instincts taught her to spread her wings and expose her membranes and
expand genital chambers to ooze pheromone. She was surrounded by male
cockroaches flapping their wings. It was a dark night and she could not really
know who deposited sperms on her back. Though it doesn’t matter much also.
After depositing her ‘egg
case’ “Ootheca” safely under warm and damp gutter line of junk store, she had
abandoned the junk store, in search of new land. Luckily, the deserted
apartment was at a walking distance, for she was always afraid of short flights,
which made her conspicuous and vulnerable. She spent a few nights with the
“I am Monarch of all I survey; My right there is none to dispute” ~William Cowper: The Solitude of Alexander Selkirk.
Molly had a small stomach.
The owner of the apartment must have left in a hurry, for there was enough food
left all over flat. Molly did not like the food in the kitchen where it was
readily available. She preferred to hunt for it from dining table, dustbin, flowerpots
Molly did not bother to clean
the apartment. She slept in soiled bed and walked on dusted floor.Once out of curiosityand ennui, she opened the
window. A blow of fresh air hit her nostrils. She squeezed her nose, as she was
accustomed to stink aromas only. In the window of the opposite flat, a handsome
man was staring at her.
She hurriedly closed the
window. She was about to move when she saw at the sill another cockroach
staring at her with blank eyes. He introduced himself in their cockroach slang.
"Hey, I am Gregor Samsa; what are you doing in my flat?”