Kafka; Rilke; Akhmatova; Lorca; Xun; Mahfouz

1.   Gregor’s family valued Gregor for his economic achievements and not because he was part of the family.  While Gregor was healthy and was maintaining the family, each of them did what they wanted to do.  The father would sit around reading his newspaper, had not worked in five years, even had such a trouble standing up.  The sister played the violin and the mother was always sick.  It was a picture of self-pity.  They had accustomed in that it was Gregor’s responsibility to maintain them.  After Gregor started his metamorphosis, the family’s appreciation for Gregor was less and less to the point that at the end, they wanted to get rid of him.  The father was the first one to get disgusted, and making a fist was “ready to push Gregor back into his room.’  At the beginning, his sister was concerned about Gregor’s health, taking the desired food to him, cleaning his room every day.    Then, she stop caring for Gregor  when all three members of the family were working so hard to keep up with the economic status.  The father that used to be a lay back person,  fragile and used to welcomed Gregor back from his trips, now was working and seemed strong, with an arrogant and insolent look, who resolved every situation that involved Gregor by harming him.    None of them  never considered that all the work they did, between the three of them, to maintain the family, Gregor did all alone without their help.

2.   In the first section, Gregor wakes up one day to find himself transformed  into a bug.  He realized that he was late for work.  He gets frustrated with the fact that his boss does not trust anybody and sends the chief clerk to see why their employees are late for work, even when they are hardworking individuals.  The chief clerks comes to his house, to which Gregor’s family get worried since Gregor is never late for work, and knocking at his door tried to convince him to open the door.  He tries to talk to the clerk, but nobody understands him because his voice also has changed.  After Gregor’s struggle to move, he finally opens the door, to which the chief clerk flee out of the house, his mother fainted and his father kick him back to his room.  They demonstrate how dependable is the family in Gregor and how caring and responsible is Gregor with them.

In the second section, you can see how the family is slowly changing from caring to uncaring.  At first, Gregor’s sister established a feeding routine for Gregor and finds out what he likes and what he dislikes.  Gregor spends most of his time listening to the conversations between his family members about the economic difficulties they are going through.  He feels sad about his incapability to save his family.  Gregor gets more comfortable with his physical state and start hanging out of the ceiling and crawling the walls, to which his sister and mother moves the furniture out of his room to make him feel more comfortable.  In an attempt to save a picture that was hanging in his room, he was seen by his mother, who fainted in the process.  His sister tells his dad, who injures Gregor by throwing him apples.  His dad, now was a different person, is a worker and is not puny anymore, but now is insensitive and uncaring.

In the third section, Gregor’s family rent a room to three individuals, who are supplied with regular meals.  The family did everything the individuals wanted to make them feel comfortable.  Each member, also had a responsibility, a role to contribute and they no longer care for Gregor.  They don’t even realize that Gregor stopped eating a long  time ago.   One day, while they were in the living room,  the lodgers  demanded Gregor’s sister to play violin for them.  Gregor, depressed by the way their family was struggling and trying to defend his sister’s dignity, creeped out of the room.  One of the individuals saw Gregor and all three were upset and claimed they were not going to pay for anything if such creature lived in the house.  Gregor’s sister, angry by the incident, tells his dad that they needed to get rid of Gregor, he was to blamed for all the problems.  Gregor, depressed, went into his room and died.  The family felt relief and rejoice!

At the begining, this family felt self-pity for themselves, they did not have any sense of responsibility but were considerate with Gregor.  The struggle to keep with economic situation, brought the best of their skills, but made them more inhumane and lost their dignity.  It looks to me that at the end they had more bug on them than Gregor  had on him.

3.   I think Requiem is a description of a historical event, in which families were separated, due to “the mass arrest in the 1930’s’.  The woman suffering is compared to the one of Virgin Mary when Jesus was crucified.  It is a moment of horror in the story of this country due to political control.  It describes how politicians can turn a nation’s everyday life into a horror movie, where children are orphans, and the mothers are emotionally tortured, while the fathers and sons are physically tortured and killed.  In this sense, I think Requiem is a political protest because it creates a sense of political awareness, to not be ignorant of the actions of politicians, because they have a nation’s life in their hands, to learn from the past experiences and to not commit the same old mistakes.

4.   The meaning of this phrase is about how a piece of art can challenge the observer.  Even if the piece have no eyes, or smile, or any communicative expression, the person can still connects with the torso, as if it does have an expression.  The art speak for itself a message.  The strong and defined muscles in the torso confronts the observer to change its self-pity and puny life to a more strong and healthy one.



One thought on “Kafka; Rilke; Akhmatova; Lorca; Xun; Mahfouz

  1. geborgeson

    I agree that the family valued Gregor’s economic success more than his role him the family. They were accustomed to easy days and rarely saw Gregor as it was. I think its an important fact that as soon as he served no purpose to his family they become more and more annoyed by Gregor, who had supported them for many years and had asked for nothing in return. Its a cold look at how our culture views the importance of success and purpose.

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