Lesson 13

1. The relationship between Gregor and his family is centered around their economic dependence on him. When his father’s business failed it was up to Gregor to take on the responsibility to provide for his family. Gregor sacrificed for years and provided selflessly for his family. While Gregor is forced to provide for his family his father is mostly unappreciative. Gregor’s father urges him to work immediately, while he spends his days lounging about. When Gregor is transformed Gregor’s father is more concerned that he wont be able to enjoy his retirement years anymore rather than Gregor himself. Even his mother and sister eventually abandon any hope they had for Gregor. This abandonment shows how even though Gregor provided and cared for his family, their love was never truly reciprocated.

2. In the first section of The Metamorphoses Gregor awakes to find that he’s been turned into a cockroach. His first thoughts or of how could he have overslept for working, showing how important his work was to him and providing for his family. Soon his family and company are concerned for his health. By the end of the scene everyone knows the truth of Gregor and his family quickly turns to despair as they realize Gregor cannot continue his work, or provide for them.

During the second section of The Metamorphoses the family tries to cope with the change in Gregor. They all find hard jobs to provide for the family. For a while his sister is kind and tries to help, and his mother still cries for her lost son. His father finds work and quickly forgets of Gregor, wishing to be rid of the bug as soon as possible. We see during this period that as the family becomes less dependent on Gregor they become more irritated by the cockroach that now is Gregor.

During the final section of The Metamorphoses Gregor reveals himself to the household for one last time to hear the sound of his sister playing the violin. The tenants that have moved in to help the family provide or aghast and insist to move as soon as possible. The family upset Gregor over the incident no intend to ‘get rid’ of him. Gregor who was the only one who appreciated the music his sister played, died shortly after realizing that he was only a burden to his family. Soon after his passing his family is able to move on, to pursue their own dreams, a chance that Gregor never had.

3. Regardless of wheather the Requiem was released before or after the purges that took place during Stalin’s reign it is a truly influential piece of literature. During the preface when one of the women confronts the narrator and asks her to describe  what had happened her says it all. We cant forget about the terrible abuse and huge losses these people went through.  Akhmatova uses biblical references to compare the sons and mothers to show what sacrifice they had taken here, a sacrifice that should not be forgotten.

4. I believe we should interpret the last lines of the Torso of Apollo  as a plea  to find inspiration in all things. The example of the Torso of Apollo  shows us how a mere  piece of stone has been given immeasurable value because someone crafted it with such beauty. It was the artisan that found inspiration to carve this piece of art and make something wonderful out of a piece of rock.

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