I know the proper term is Kafkaesque. But if I only talk about the book The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, I think I should be able to call it Gregoresque since he’s the main character of the book for this section I will be talking about.
This is a common read in English classes. Depending on what school you go to, it could be various grades in which it is read. If you never read it, try it. It might interest you. Personally, if I never read it again, I would not regret it.
Short synopsis: Gregor Samson, the main character, wakes up one morning and is transformed into a cockroach. The story follows Gregor and his continuing change to his eating habits, to his behavior change. At the same time, Gregor watches his families struggle with the change that has happened to Gregor and his impact on their mental and physical state.
Now I chose to talk about this book, because this book drove me insane. Not because the book was boring, stupid, or ridiculous. I was annoyed more at my teacher with this book. Like all English teachers and stories, there are always meaning in certain parts of the story and their reflection on life. But at some point, it seems to get over the top. The point it peeked in the book was during one particular part. Gregor escapes from his room, and is spotted by his family. The dad in a fit of rage, starts grabbing from the nearby fruit bowl and starts throwing them at Gregor. A pear bounces off his back, an orange hits him in the eye, and an apple gets lodged into one of his ribs of his shell.
This is where the teacher asked us about the symbolism of the attack. After seeing the class look at him like he was speaking German. He explains the comparison to the Bible. Still confused? So were we. He explained the apple, just like the Bible, was the bad fruit. The apple ended up in the ribs of a man, in which woman was formed. In case you weren’t aware, woman ate the apple that basically got humans banned for life from the Garden of Eden.
If you’re partially like me, you would think this is a far stretch. Others would see the representation. And a select few will still be scratching their heads still trying to figure out Gregoresque. If you’re in the others that see the representation, I twitch my eye at you, and suggest you try to see things my way. Maybe you’ll think just a little bit differently.
Now, I know the Bible makes women seems like the ultimate mistake of God. With Genesis alone, the whole apple eating deal, portray woman as weak willed, ignorant, and the reason man will never get in God’s good grace to re-enter the Garden of Eden. A tad much in my opinion, but who am I to argue with the “word of God.”
So now, I can somewhat see the comparison. But I don’t like it. I think it’s just being read into waaay too much. It’s this type of example that makes me think English teachers really reach at times to make connections, when it’s very likely it was all a coincidence. My thoughts on the whole scene, Kafka was writing the story and had gotten to the point of Gregor escaping and his family seeing him. As he was decided what their reaction would be, he reached into his own fruit bowl and grabbed an apple to think. When the idea came to him, they throw fruit at the ugly bug. Since he had an apple in his hand that was the lucky one that gets stuck. And since the only place anything can get stuck in a cockroach, it ends up between his ribs. Voilà. I think that has more credibility than he’s comparing the whole scene to Adam and Eve and the evil apple of knowledge and exile.
Now I know there can be some interpretation of Kafka’s works that indicate comparisons to the Bible, but many have thought to say that too much is being read into his work to connect the two. For some more read on it I refer you to the following website.
This concludes my English adventures, at least for now. Maybe in the future I will remember something from that year to share, or that stemmed either from 12th grade or another time of learning. Since I have posted one article regarding the current political election, I shall go into that area next. So if you’ve been intrigued so far, I hope to keep you intrigued. Remember tell your friend, family, or just random people on the street or internet about me. Post the link on facebook that you’re reading my blog, who knows; maybe people will think more of you reading a blog that seems interesting and thoughtful.