Metamorphosis is about a young man, Gregor, who does not like the job he does, but he has to work to support his family. Gregor, then wakes up, to realise he is transformed into a giant vermin, from this; he has to live with the consequences that he faces from his family and society.
When Gregor is a normal person, he has to carry out duties, which he is not particularly happy doing. Gregor does not like the place he is working at, however, he must continue to work, as this is the only way he can support himself, and his family. Furthermore, little does he know that even though he is able to support his family reasonably, his parents want him to work more than what he can, and to stay in this job for life.
“In the course of the years, they had formed the connection that Gregor was secure in this firm for life.”
From this, one may be able to justify that he is meant to stick with this firm for all his life; however, Gregor does not like this job, so why is he forced to lead his life in such anxiety? This shows that even Gregor is a normal person; he has to live, and deal with the fact that whatever he is told to do, he must do.
After Gregor’s transformation, everything suddenly changes. His family believes that he is useless, and he cannot do anything for them. They way they feel for him also changes, as if Gregor has let them down.
“His father clenched a fist with a menacing expression as if he meant to beat Gregor back into his room.”
This shows his father was extremely disappointed, and felt let down by what had happened, his anger so fierce that he was to beat Gregor physically. Furthermore, this suggests that his family are not helping Gregor to recover, and for this reason, throughout the text, Gregor is always made feeling below the rest.
Gregor has a lot of pride in his possessions. His mother and sister decide to move his furniture out, to let Gregor have more space around the room.
“By moving Gregor’s furniture, one meant to show him we had given up all hope of his getting better.”
This contrasts a lot with the initial feeling that was given when Gregor was first seen after the transformation because before, the family members thought that there was no chance for him to re-transform back to his original form. However, not, as the furniture is about to me move, his mother and his sister think that there is a chance of him to get better. This shows that they do not have faith in Gregor, becoming all right again, and are continuously flipping from one thought to another.
Gregor is constantly told that he needs to work so that a regular income would come in, so that he could support his family. However, we are never really told that his father is also able to work. Since the transformation, Gregor’s father has now been transferred to a more upbeat person, he has a new job, and Gregor’s room door opens, he sees his father all dressed up
“Blue uniform, with gilt buttons”
This shows that his father is capable and is now working, and running the family. Meaning that whilst Gregor was there, he was forced to work harder, and now that his father is working, when before he could have been helping Gregor.
“One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich is about the struggle of men, who are stripped of humanity and forced to work in freezing conditions in Russia under the rule of Stalin for around 15-25 years. The novella focuses on Ivan Denisovich, telling us about a ‘good’ day.
Shukov is well known within his group. He is treated with a lot of respect from his peers, except a few, like Fetuikov, who is jealous of him. Shukov gets on well with the team leader, Tuirin, who helps Shukov in some situations. There are many references through out the novella, where Shukov is given extra items.
“Eat it yourself Ivan Denisovich”, Shukov with his two bowls”:
Shukov might have been treated like this, because of the way he always works. He has a lot of pride in which he is doing.
During the rule of Stalin, society always tried to break down the prisoners, in this case, the regime. Prisoners were stripped of everything they bad, especially their humanity, however, one thing that they could not strip away from Shukov was his pride. Shukov always worked with a lot of pride, however, when it was time to rest or eat, Shukov was still working, which meant that the regime had not totally broken down, he had the freedom to do what he chose.
Shukov tells his family not to visit him, or to send him any parcels.
“His heart ached because there wasn’t one for him; he’d strictly forbidden his wife not to send him anything”.
Shukov had forbidden his wife not to send him anything because he knew of his wife’s financial background. She did not have much.
“He knew what these parcels cost. He knew too that his family wouldn’t be able to keep it up for 10 years”.
Furthermore, if his family did send him anything, it would have meant that he would think of them more, and from this, he would feel more upset as he would think of them more, thus, this could have been another reason to why his family never visited him or sent anything. Shukov also has a lot of love for his family, even though they do not visit them. This is because if he didn’t love them, he would have used them to send him parcels, but he does not do this, as he is thinking on saving them money. Shukov has a lot of pride in his belongings.
The main personal belonging that he has is his spoon that he always carries with him. He always makes sure that he keeps it safe as it is the only belonging that he has. Belongings are very important, as they remind you of your family, but Shukov, it might remind him on how much he is worth. This is because, if he had no pride, no belonging, basically he has nothing; however as he has got his pride, and a personal belonging, he is not totally at the bottom, but still has something left of him.
Overall, it is very important for your peers and family to support you through a time of difficulty. This is because in the case of Gregor, he had no friends who could have supported him, but he had a family. However, his family didn’t care about him, and the end, Gregor dies. He could have still been alive if his family was alongside him and supported him. Furthermore, Gregor always thought in the best possible way for his family. After the transformation, he still cared for them.
Gregor even had a dream of sending his sister to a music college, yet his family misinterpreted him, and did not care for him, as they thought that as he came closer to them, he was going to attack them. Ivan Denisovich on the other hand has friends, but a family who he tells not to visit him. Even though he tries to forget about his family, he can’t, as it is a constant reminder of the life that he had before he was put into the camps. His friends support him, and like him a lot, however, this is not the same as having your family alongside you. If his family visited him at least, it would have made it easier for him, as he would know that his family is supporting him through his situation.
The moral in both novellas is the same. Both novellas portray a message which tells us that it is essential: for peers and family to be alongside you, to help you, give advice, and provide love and care. However, in the novellas, if family is present, then no peers are there, but your family doesn’t really care about what is happening with you, whereas if peers are present, then there is no family. It is essential that your family is there, no matter how much friends you got, because having a family alongside you, you are able to say that these are my own people, who understand me better, whereas peers, are people you have just met, who cant understand you in huge depth.