What does Gregor Samsa do as he wakes up from disturbing dreams and realizes that he has changed into a vermin, a crawling creature, a thing?
While on the surface the tale of what happens to Gregor Samsa may be viewed as science fiction type fantasy whose purpose is to entertain the reader, there is a much deeper message about what it means to be an existing individual.
We see the protagonist Gregor Samsa
waking up one morning to find himself changed into a monstrous vermin.
This privileging of the "winners," however, shifts in the late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century period, Carla Johnson argues, because the "Jewish experience has come to mirror the frustrations of mainstream America in the 1990s: the shrinking opportunities, the claustrophobic urbanization, the limitations on movement in a country filled all the way to the West Coast, the stalling of the American dream." (19) From the nineties to the post-9/11 world, Gregor Samsa
's world of limited possibilities and Kafkaesque hidden menaces had become the experience of many Americans.
Meet the Samsas
, Franz Kafka; trans and dir: Mary Gragen Rogers, Sarah Beth Parks.