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Antithesis - While antithesis is the juxtaposition of opposite ideas put together for the strong effect of contrast in a sentence, in literature authors often employ an antithesis in characters, as well as an antithesis of ideas.
There is certainly an antithetical idea between the title of Kafka's novella and the narrative; for the title suggests that a transformation will occur throughout the narrative whereas it has already occurred before the narrative begins. Another antithetical idea exists in Gregor's reactions to waking up to find himself transformed into "a vermin"; for, he remains relatively calm and considers going to work and his desire to quit, as well, rather than the phenomenal change in himself:
Oh God,” he thought, “what a strenuous occupation I've chosen! The rigors of the job are much greater than if I were working locally, and, furthermore, the nuisances of traveling are always imposed upon me—...the fleeting human contact that is ever-changing, never lasting, and never expected to be genuine. To the devil with it all!”
Pathos - The evocation of pity certainly occurs in the reader who gains the knowledge that Gregor must work to pay the debts of his parents; after paying their debts, he hopes to send his sister to the Conservatory in order to study music. Then, when he becomes a giant insect, his father beats him back with the walking stick that Gregor's superior has left behind, and he throws apples at him.
Another one however, immediately following it, hit squarely and lodged in his back; Gregor wanted to drag himself away, as if he could remove the surprising, the incredible pain by changing his position; but he felt as if nailed to the spot and spread himself out, all his senses in confusion.
Connotation and Denotation - Words often have both suggestive meanings, or connotations, and literal meanings, or denotations. One example of this difference between suggested and literal meanings comes in the name of the protagonist: Gregor Samsa. While appearing simply as the nomenclature for the main character, its connotation lends much more meaning: the name Samsa is said to be a phonetic contraction of the Czech words sam = alone, and jsem - I am, thus suggesting the protagonist's alienation.
Euphemism - The substitution of a vague or less meaningful one over a harsh expression of meaning.
Georg Samsa wakes up “from unsettling dreams" to discover that he has been transformed into a giant insect. That the experience is recalled merely as an "unsettling dream" certainly downplays the surrealistic transformation in this Samsa, as does the phrase, "He found himself changed."
Analogy - One analogy that has been made is that suggested by the poet W. H. Auden who stated,
Kafka is important to us because his predicament is the predicament of modern man.
Auden contends that Kafka's situation is the same as that of modern man. In other words, he sacrifices himself to work, but instead finds himself transformed by the demands of his new world in which others become antagonistic; moreover, in this transformation, man loses his true identity.
Selection of Detail - The grotesque images that are disturbing certainly contain a "selection of detail." In Chapter 2, for instance, the sister brings Gregor food and quickly takes her exit. After finishing, Gregot relaxes, but hears his sister's signal.
That immediately started him,...and he scuttled under the couch again. ..In between slight attacks of suffocation he watched with bulging eyes as his unsuspecting sister took a broom and swept up, not only his leavings, but even the foods which Gregor had left completely untouched--as if they too were no longer usable--and dumping everything hastily into a pail, which she covered with a wooden lid...
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