What is the relationship between Gregor & his family? What clues in the story suggest that his relationship with his family, particularly his father, is unsatisfactory?
1. Initially I found Gregor’s mother and sister to be quite kind and caring for Gregor. Each expressed interest in his well being when he had not risen at the appropriate time for work. His mother even tried to cover up for Gregor when his chief clerk arrived from work to check upon the cause of his absence. Although his mother expresses a pride for Gregor’s craftmanship and dedication to the family, she does state that she is worried by the fact that he rarely leaves to house to spend time with friends or other hobbies. I believe she does not appreciate Gregor’s desire to take care of his family. Gregor’s sister is the only family member who initially tends to his needs, but this dissapates over time to a point where she finds him to be more of a repulsive nuisance than a brother. The mother because indifferent or possibly just broken hearted and absent minded as the topic of getting rid of Gregor comes to light. Gregor’s sister is in full support of this by the time that the family is feeling the full burden of a life without Gregor to support them. I felt that these two characters gave up on empathy and began to live in a sense of self preservation over the value of family. Gregor’s father is a different story. From the begining, Gregor’s father is certain that there is nothing wrong with Gregor and that he has messed up in some way and must come to terms with this. He supports the clerk in his aspirations to remove Gregor from his room to get to the bottom of the issue and is astonished when Gregor opens the door. Ashamed or afraid of Gregor, his father even beats at him with a cane and newspaper as though he is battling a dragon. Once more of the internal monolgue of Gregor is presented, we find that his father had played an almost incapable old dependent, who relied on Gregor to provide everthing for the family, while still demanding respect. Once put in a posisiton, where he must provide for the family once again, he finds strength and and will power to do so. He for the most part ashamed of his son’s appearance and can only ‘tolerate’ Gregor. I believe this pride of Gregor’s father has lead to an expectation that could never have been met, even when Gregor was in good health. This caused a schism between them and an indifference in Gregor’s health. Altogether this formed a reliance upon Gregor, but ultimately his love was only shone to him indefinitely, while he was providing for the family.
Discuss the central events in each of the three sections of The Metamorphosis. In what ways do these events suggest that the weakening of Gregor results in the strengthening of the family as a whole?
2. Gregor’s transformation leaves him helpless and therefore incapable of providing for the family. The initial shock and emotional trauma felt by Gregor’s mother and sister caused them to re-evaluate the value they placed in him and come to terms with getting by on their abilities that they have had all along. With the help, like the cook leaving, the family became more independent. His sister began to clean his room, his mother cooked, his father got a job at the bank. Gregor thought back to how his family had initially been grateful for the monetary support he gave, but over time had come to expect it and were not quite as warm about it. This need to begin working showed them their capabilities and how much they could accomplish as a team. As the family becomes more open to Gregor’s desire to see them and move about, they remove his furniture to allow for more space and even open the door to his room from time to time. At one point Gregor reaches to far from his room after causing his mother to faint and his father nails him with an apple in the back and this injures Gregor. He can no long clime walls and can barely move. He begins to spend more time in his thoughts and reminescence. The family does start opening the door to allow him to watch their dinner time and listen in on their conversation, but over a short period of time they begin to neglect Gregor and even hire help to clean so that they did not have to deal with him at all. His sister would still feed Gregor, but was indifferent to his eathing habits. With the need for more income, the family rents a room to three tenants, which places more stress on the family, in order to keep them appeased and also keeping Gregor completely in the dark. This stree brings Gregor’s family together and further proves their usefulness. When Gregor’s sister plays violin and the tenants hear her, they request to hear her play in the living room and her father is proud. He is delighted that they would like to here her play, but as they become dissinterested quickly he takes some offense. Not quite as much as Gregor though and he moves from his room toward his sister because he wants her to know that she could come play for her in his room. This gives the tenants a startle and they give their notice to move away from the premisis. This upsets the family greatly and they determine that Gregor must go. He passes away the next day and although they are upset initially, they spend their days writing letters to their bosses, explaining their reason for missing work. Their mild suffering and quick change of attitude is a callousness that had developed, but was necessary to move on and succeed in the world. It states that they all had positive prospects in the future, signifying that the events they had been through, ultimately provided for a stronger and more successful family.
How effective do you find Akhmatova’s Requiem as a political protest? Requiem was not published until well after the purges were over and Stalin was dead; is it, then, totally lacking in influence?
3. Although Requiem was not officially published, until after the purges and the tyrannical rule of Stalin was over, it still remains effective in protesting the era and political tyranny the people of Russia faced. Her protest is extremely effective because it is written from a point of view that all women could relate to. The fear, the anguish and mental breakdowns that these families faced was nearly unavoidable and through her descriptions, Akhmatova is able to put into words how one would feel. Her perspective as a part of the reality they faced, identified a hardship that could be recognized as an experience that no person should have and vilifies Stalin’s “blue caps.” In the end of her poem she says that she would not refuse a statue, as long as it stands outside those same walls that tormented each family as theirs sons were murdered or exiled into Siberia, if for nothing else but to remind those who need it and to edutate future generations of the sadness their people went through.
How should we interpret the famous command at the end of Archaic Torso of Apollo?
4. Although reading the preface did give some insight to the possible meaning of the poem, the last line, “You must change you life,” gives more of a directive of how things should be seen. By changing the way one sees life, the perpective and meaning of everyting changes with it. If we are to interpret the line in this way, then we may see the boldness and knowledge of art in its time and there after.
I like you answer to the fourth question about how to interpret the famous command. I too say that they mean life is what we make of things.