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Metamorphosis YouTube Adaptation Response

Updated on April 10, 2012

The “Metamorphosis” YouTube adaptation I chose was directed by Charlie Ramos. It was an animated short, and it only covered the first past of the story, but I think it is a fairly accurate presentation of the story. It is reminiscent of Tim Burton’s “Nightmare before Christmas” animation. Visually and texturally, we are very aware of the fact this is animation, which leaves little credibility in reality as we know it. Also there is a brooding mood of impending doom as the film starts, in the music, the sound effects and the camera movement, giving the audience a blatant look at Gregor’s distress upon awakening, and his confrontation with his boss and family.

The sounds evoke the present horror we are witnessing, and Gregor is experiencing. The animation aspect removes us from reality, but in a way which still allows us to establish suspension of disbelief in what we are seeing, allowing us to be drawn in by Gregor’s struggle. Structurally, the short follows the story in a linear fashion, taking us away from Gregor’s point of view and placing the audience in a more omniscient aspect, so we may better encounter the rest of the Samsa family as they are faced with this wholly unusual circumstance. Despite the rest of his transformation, part of Gregor’s humanity remains in the aspect of his facial features, more than likely to underscore that contrary to this horrific exterior, the soul of a man still resides within.

I think that the Kafkaesque, as far as “Metamorphosis” goes, is essentially the literary portrayal of the dehumanization the average man in the world of business, reducing his value and importance in the world, making those that reside on the lower rungs of the ladder of success less of an asset. Their dignity has been stripped, leaving them little more than puppets, or as illustrated, insects, left to the whim of those that reside above them in the hierarchy to do with them what they wish. They are the children with magnifying glasses, debating whether or not to set them alight, or putting them out of their misery, crushing them beneath their heels, leaving the desiccating carrion for whatever scavengers would make a meal of the remains.

It is also the imprisonment of the human spirit, not within iron bars and concrete walls, but within the mind. It is created by the cutting off of communication and interaction, isolating the individual with a chasm that is not easily crossed, and of no one’s making. As if this growing schism isn’t daunting enough, a river of fear, resentment, and revulsion runs through the seeming empty space between the two cliffs, leaving no one capable of bridge this gap. This substance doesn’t run scorching hot, but bitterly cold, the kind of frigidity that penetrates to the marrow, freezing the heart, and withering the soul for its contact. The essence crumples inward, to try to stave off damage, slowly compacting, turning in upon itself, until there is nowhere left to go, and finally expires.


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