The Metamorphosis

The long story “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka and the chapter “Spaciousness and Crowding” by Yi-Fu Tuan both deal with the freedoms one gains by the range of movement they are able to achieve. By having a limited range of movement for reasons such and physical or developmental, one may not be to achieve the full potential of freedoms that are available to them. “Spaciousness and Crowding” explains the different ways the freedom of range can be both expressed and limited, such as by piloting aircrafts or by being and infant, respectively. The long story “The Metamorphosis” follows a man as he suddenly looses all his freedoms of range he once enjoyed.

In “The Metamorphosis”, the protagonist, Gregor Samsa, was a salesman. He was the family’s source of income because no one else in the family had a job. He wakes up and relies he turned into a large insect. He has trouble moving and breaks one of his many legs trying to roll his body right-side up. He struggles doing basic thing such as eating, walking and talking. He drools brown liquids from what use to be his mouth and his wings knock over furniture. His family becomes fed-up with him, except for his sister. She tries to comfort him by feeding him and helping him when he struggles to move his large, grotesque body. Samsa’s parents start to take away his furniture from his room and he becomes depressed and sick. His mother makes fun of him, saying “Just look at that old dung beetle”(pg 324), much to his annoyance. He becomes a prisoner in his own room, where he eventually dies.

The example of Samsa’s situation shows the deterioration of movement and the lost of freedom. This is a good example of what Tuan is trying to explain in the chapter because it highlights the life that Samsa once enjoyed by his new lack of range caused destroyed his quality of life and led to the excommunication of his family and eventually his death.

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