Defamiliarization In Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis?

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The concept of defamiliarization is the act of ordinary things being “presented to the mind in an unusual way” by the author. Initially describing normal, everyday, almost boring events, only to disrupt this sense of normality at the very end, taking what is familiar and making it strange. The disruption of the reader’s expectation is what we call a Defamiliarization effect. In Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, the author makes the reader experience a familiar object or situation in a new way, from a new angle, and gain a fresh perspective. In Metamorphosis, the protagonist, Gregor Samsa, wakes up one morning where he finds “himself transformed right there in his bed into some sort of monstrous insect” (Lawall 1880). Gregor never attempts to find out as to why or how this physical change has happened. Instead, he appears to accept the change as an unfortunate incident, like an accident or illness, and does not even get upset about it. He simply goes about his regular morning routine and thinks about relatively normal subjects, for example the family’s financial situation, how much his dislikes his job, and his own physical comfort. Gregor than begins to panic but only at the thought that he has missed the early train to work …show more content…
The transformation that takes place in Gregor’s family, where the expected love and support turns into shamed “acceptance and resentment” now that Gregor has let the family down because of the transformation to a bug. The level of sympathy for Gregor by the family quickly turns into disgust. His father even beats the insect with multiple household items, first with a newspaper and a cane, which later turns into “apples from the family’s fruit bowl” (Lawall 1902) which incidentally injures Gregor. Gregor quickly becomes an “it” for the family in which they feel no affection. The readers are then left with the question of how much of Gregor’s humanity

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