strenuous: Requiring or using great exertion

Synonyms: strong – hard – vigorous – active – energetic – toilsome

Found in “The Metamorphosis,” paragraph 4, line 1, page 2. “oh, god”, he thought,” whats a strenuous career it is that I’ve chosen! traveling day in and day out.

Comparisons in “The Metamorphosis”

who Gregor was before vs his life after his change

Gregor narrated vs. quoted

tone changes: first discovering himself as vermin to when he later accepts his situation

characters treat Gregor: mother vs father; sister from beginning to end

struggles of family: financial burden vs financial boom

physical vs emotional abnormalities or ugliness

literal vs metaphorical understanding of Gregor’s transformation

family’s reaction to Gregor when he first transforms vs when he dies

status quo vs reaction to sudden change

Although Grete is notably uncomfortable with Gregor’s new state, she takes on the responsibility of caring for her brother, a job his father could not fill.

introduce the quotation: When Gregor’s presence shocks his mother and makes her faint, Gregor’s father blames him for this

provide the quotation

interpret it

analyze it

apply it back to our argument

When Gregor’s presence shocks his mother and makes her faint, Gregor’s father blames him for this: “It was clear to Gregor that Grete had not said enough and that his father took it to mean that something bad had happened, that he was he was responsible for some act of violence” (16). Here, Mr. Samsa, although not in the room, jumps quickly to the conclusion that something awful has happened and that Gregor is at fault. He clearly sees his son as a monster, and someone to be afraid of, who would purposely hurt the family. This shows that unlike Grete, he is not willing to engage in the current family situation.

“Only the Dead Know Brooklyn” and the Brooklyn Historical Society

On Wednesday, we will be traveling to the Brooklyn Historical Society to look at some of the archived materials in their collections. Please meet promptly at 11:30 or prior inside the Adams Street entrance to City Tech (near the entrance to the bookstore). We will leave from there and travel the short distance to the Brooklyn Historical Society at 128 Pierrepont Street at Clinton Street.

Before our visit to the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS), every student in our class needs to complete a survey. You can find the survey here. Follow the instructions on the site. If you have any questions or problems, please get in touch with me. You’ll do another survey at the end of the semester. It’s all to gauge how much you’ve learned at BHS.

To prepare, think about the following two questions:

Q: How does the “big guy” in “Only the Dead Know Brooklyn” attempt to know Brooklyn?

Q: How have you gotten to know Brooklyn?

When we’re at BHS, I’ll ask you to think about getting to know Brooklyn:

Q: How can we get to know Brooklyn and Wolfe’s story through the archival materials at BHS?

You will work in groups to examine the materials at one of six stations.

Be prepared to photograph each piece and its citation–your phone’s camera is fine.

In your groups, you will discuss what you’re looking at, trying to identify elements from the story in your materials and to piece together an understanding of the area you’re looking at.

Your group will then share what you have discussed by presenting for 3-5 minutes total on some aspects of the following topics:

  • What did you look at?
  • What do you know about Brooklyn from each piece you didn’t know before?
  • How does it represent aspects of “Only the Dead Know Brooklyn,” if it does? How is it different?
  • What more do you want to know?

Each person needs to speak!