1. What is the relationship between Gregor and his family? What clues in the story suggest that his relationship with his family, particularly his father, is unsatisfactory?
It is a little bit difficult to totally understand from the perspective of an insect, but his father beats Gregor back into his room, probably symbolizing his fathers control and overpowering of Gregor’s ability to change in the open. His mother does wish to see Gregor even with his transformed state, which shows a high degree of caring no matter what Gregor becomes. Interestingly both Gregor’s father and sister are against his mother seeing him, which could be expected from the father, but not the sister who feeds him bread and milk while he slept. Following her discovering that Gregor desire a different type of food, she begins bringing him old nasty foos which fills his insect apitite. Through out the story Gregor’s father seems to always doubt or assume the worst of Gregor, through showing distrust and resentment. His mother and sister except Gregor’s transformation and try to change the house to fit his new state of need, such as crawling space. Although over time his whole family begin to feel as if Gregor is a burden, which results in Gregor dying and his family become happy. The whole story seems to outline how change can be good for ones self, but can result in negative consequences of those around you. And with Gregor’s insect self, he can no longer support his family. Although his father finally finds employment, resulting in the families rejection of Gregor’s worth. So maybe the moral of the story is that people can care about you when you are what they need you to be, but when you change, if they cannot get what they need they will seek it out else whaere and leave you behind.
2. Discuss the central events in each of the three sections of The Metamorphoses. In what ways do these events suggest that the weakening of Gregor results in the strengthening of the family as a whole?
The first section is focused on Gregor and how he had changed, what he was thinking about, and what he was afraid of. He was the most concerned with losing his job, which is central piece of the fist section, with his manager coming and running away in fear of Gregor. Also, after the manager runs in fear is when Gregor’s father pushes him back into his room, halting his efforts at chasing the manager and explaining his absence from work. For the second section, the main premise seemed to be his family and their reactions to his situation. Such as his sister feeding him and taking up his chore duties. The other members of his family seemed to become more close through their joint efforts in “dealing” with Gregor’s appearance/shape in every day activities. This is also the section where Gregor’s fate is being considered by his father and his sister is against the fathers with for him to be killed. In the third section, we begin to learn of Gregor’s unhappiness and pain. Furthermore, now his sister is also employed which was interesting because even though all of them were employed they were still poor from Gregor’s situation. Over time the family lost time to spend with Gregor and now he was almost merely a novelty of their Gregor. In the end they believed Gregor to be an “it,” free of all human qualities, a burden on the family and indeed must be put down. The whole story is building upon the fact that his family becomes more close, because his position in the family was replaced by his sister around the house and his fathers employment.
3. 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?
I think the sheer fact that it was banned has some merit to its effectiveness as a protest. I think it was a little bit of a taunt to the Stalin regime, because it spoke of suffering, but did not do so where the author blamed the Soviet Union for the troubles, even though any ready would know through real context who was at fault. It is not totally “lacking,” because although it was banned, we get a glimpse of the sort of ideas which were against the Soviet era political control. At the time of the Soviet Union, most forms of scientific or artistic literature had to hide certain meaning because they could go against the political regime, yet non the less the truth was the truth and can be found hidden within many pages of that eras regional texts.
4. How should we interpret the famous command at the end of Archaic Torso of Apollo?
Well, it seems to be telling us to understand what is on the inside of yourself, because through recognizing what’s there you will understand what needs to change. I suppose there are a number of other ways to interpret it, but to me it is about self-awareness, self-acceptance, and acceptance of changing ones-self.
I really agree with you for number three, it is telling that the piece was banned.
I totally agree with number 4. I had the same thoughts about that, it’s all about self change and the realization of the changes that need to be made.