Gouldrup Lists Alternative Metamorphoses

By: Sarah Gouldrup

Humor Editor

After reading The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, I feel confident in my understanding of all the important “tion’s”: alienation, isolation, and transformation. However, I can’t lie and say I wasn’t left befuddled by Kafka’s artistic choice for Gregor to turn into a beetle; yes, the “monstrous vermin” communicated some bomb literary analysis, but Kafka could have put a little more creativity into his transfiguration. Thus, here it is ladies and gentlemen: my suggestions (improvements really) for a novel that has sustained relevance for centuries. 

Whale: Picture this: Gregor wakes up and instead of realizing he has a ton of little legs, he admires his flippers. Actually, I’m not sure if his legs would even be Gregor’s main reason for concern if he was a whale. Imagine the commentary on society this would provide! The juxtaposition of his meaninglessness in context of the universe to the sheer amount of space he would take up in their little home. Literary analysts everywhere would go nuts. 

Butterfly: I hope you see where I’m going with this, but if not, let me spell it out for you. Enter Gregor: he is a small, puny caterpillar who is simply a cog in the capitalist machine. Wait, what’s that? He undergoes a literal metamorphosis and transforms into a butterfly! Kafka, no hate to you, but how did you miss the most obvious transformation in the animal kingdom? I’m sure the beetle served its purpose in the 1800’s, but in the 21st century, hidden metaphors aren’t trending.

Werewolf: As I read the book, I couldn’t help but imagine a savage Gregor who wasn’t a useless beetle but a cool werewolf. Maybe it was one too many Harry Potter fanfics that led me to this conclusion, but I can’t help but ascertain that the plot of Metamorphosis would’ve maintained a faster pace if Gregor was a vicious animal. Some may argue that this defeats the purpose of the book if he’s an animal that people fear rather than look down upon, but I disagree. 

Invisible Gregor: This is my best idea yet, and I truly think an invisible Gregor would lend itself to the meaning of the text. What better way to show that he has transformed than for him to literally become invisible? Not only would that definitely represent some existentialism (though definitely borderline nihilism), it would clearly demonstrate the loss of purpose created in a bureaucratic society. You are nothing in the grand scheme of capitalism, and you better not forget it.

Categories: Humor

Leave a Reply