Can Gregor from Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka be considered a noble protagonist?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although this question is a matter of opinion, most people would state (including me) that Gegor Samsa from Metamorphosis is not a heroic or noble figure. One of the most amazing things about the work is how little Gregor changes in terms of his outlook or his personality. He does not even think to ask why he was transformed into a vermin.

At first, Gregor works dutifully without much thought or passion. He just does it to help out his family, even if he does not like his job. He settles without a fight. He makes no choices. When he turns into a bug, he still has this mentality. He adapts to being a bug. As the story progresses, he feel more comfortable being a bug. He starts going under the couch and acting like a bug. At one point, he climbs on walls and accepts his fate even more. Again there is no protest, not struggle, no questioning. The opening words of the story says it all with its matter of fact way of writing.

"One morning, upon awakening from agitated dreams, Gregor Samsa found himself, in his bed, transformed into a monstrous vermin."

In light of this point, it is hard to see Gregor as noble. There is no fight in him. His whole existence is tragic, but in no way is he a tragic hero! At the end, when he realizes that his family does not want him. He accepts this too and he allows himself to dies. We are tempted to ask, did he ever live.

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The Metamorphosis

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