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The Significance Of Voice Essay

1311 words - 6 pages

In the “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, Gregor’s voice is significant in the story in that it represents the connection Gregor has with the outside world. Gregor’s voice symbolizes Gregor’s attachment to the outside world and how he communicates with it. We normally take our voices for granted as an expression of ourselves that is unique. When Gregor’s voice changes, as he turns into a dug beetle, Gregor loses the ability to communicate with the outside world. Throughout the story Gregor’s voice becomes a symbol of his identity and connection to his family.
The text first goes off into introducing the change in Gregor’s voice and his reaction to it. “Gregor was startled when he heard his voice answering. It was clearly and unmistakably his earlier voice, but in it was intermingled” (7). To be “startled” tells us that Gregor was shocked and surprised by the unexpected change in his voice. However, “It was clearly and unmistakably his” makes known of the fact that his voice has indeed change and actually was projected from Gregor. This also confirms the fact that Gregor has indeed changed into a bug. Here we have Gregor recognizing his voice, but knows that it has changed, as it becomes “intermingled.” To have “intermingled” means to have come together, this is essentially the mixing of Gregor’s old and new voice. Here we have a coming together between Gregor’s human side and bug side. Possibly to show to show the lack of communication Gregor had with his family even before his transformation.
The text next addresses the significance of the actual sound in Gregor’s voice. “As if from below, an irrepressible, painful squeaking, which left the words positively distinct only in the first moment and distorted them in the reverberation, so that one did not know if one had heard correctly”(7). The text first mentions the word “below,” which is something from the bottom or underneath, to emphasize the lack of strength and projection behind Gregor’s voice. The text also describes Gregor’s voice as “irrepressible” which is something that is uncontrollable as to describe Gregor’s inability to control his voice’s change. The “irrepressible” sound of Gregor’s voice can also metaphorically represent Gregor’s lack of ability to communicate in the first place, with his family and the outside world. In a more literally sense, it could also be further confirmation of the text to describe Gregor’s inevitable physical change. What is left of Gregor’s voice is a “painful squeaking” to describe a tiny pitch or soft shrill cry. Squeaking usually comes from a small animal, but here we have a giant dug beetle squeaking. The text compares Gregor’s voice as to that of a small and insignificant animal. The “squeaking” is to show how powerless Gregor really was. Gregor lacked the ability to express his thoughts and be himself as others dictate his needs. Before Gregor’s transformation, Gregor worked and worked endless for the sake of his family. Gregor was powerless in...

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