The Transformation of Gregor’s Family :
An Analysis of “The Metamorphosis”
In Franz Kafka’s 1915 novella “The Metamorphosis,” is about betrayal and humiliation of an individual by his family. Gregor Samsa is a young traveling salesman who spends his life working in order to support his family. One morning, he wakes up and finds himself transformed into a gigantic vermin (Kafka 3).At first, he tries to remain calm and go back to bed. However, his transformed body prevents him from getting comfortable; he thinks it is because of his demanding job. When his family discovers about his change, his father is the first who shoves him back to his room. From the text you can see that the existence of Gregor’s family rests solely on his shoulders, just as a queen bee relies on the worker bees. As the metamorphosis occurs, each member of the family has different reactions and deals differently with the change. Immediately, after Gregor’s transformation, we start to see how selfish his father, his mother, and his sister are. Gregor becomes dependable and his family goes back to work (like the worker bees). The Metamorphosis Of Gregor’s Father
Throughout the first chapter of The Metamorphosis, Gregor and his father shows a weak relation between each other. They are the two characters that most directly contrast with each other. One critic, Ramon Mendoza G. argues is if everything narrated in the story is, according to Kafka’s “Einsinnigkeitsprinzip,”merely the protagonist’s perspectival view of things, then the bug is unquestionably the protagonist’s self-image (which is not just his fancy, but hard reality). The protagonist sees himself as what he has actually become, a dung beetle. The only one in the story who treats him, as one would expect an intrusive, gigantic dung beetle to be treated, is the father. By this token alone, father and son are placed in a special, indeed a truly unique antithetical relationship, where the extreme vehemence of the father’s rejection can be only the dialectical counterpart to the extreme vehemence of the son is yearning for him. If the despicable dung beetle is the self-image of the protagonist, the figure of the forbidding father is nothing other than the protagonist’s father-image. The negative father-image is forbidding and uncaring only to the degree, which is in direct proportion to the positive, loving, caring father the son had hoped for and expected (Mendoza 2011 The first evidence that Mr. Samsa is uncaring for his transformed son is in the following passage: At any event, Gregor had to tell himself that he could not keep up this running around for a long time, because whenever his father took a single step, he had to go through a large number of movements. Further running away was useless, for his father had decided to bombard him with apple. One apple, thrown weakly, grazed Gregor’s back and slid off harmlessly. But the very next one that came flying after it literally forced its way in to Gregor’s back (Kafka 29). Something about Gregor’s bombardment is significant in the story. The fact that, Gregor is the source of the family’s financial stability instead of his father; Gregor’s father puts stress on their relationship and pressures him to do everything right so that the family can pay off the debt. Now that Gregor's metamorphosis occurs, he is no longer capable of working and cannot bring money in the house. Therefore, he is worthless in his father's eyes, as well as a huge deception. He doesn't even care how Gregor feels nor expects to see Gregor back to normal. It seems that he would rather see his son dead than having him as a bug. Kevin W. Sweeney quotes “ The transformation is at this stage psychologically incomplete, enabling Kafka to conduct a philosophical exploration of the nature of self, personhood and identity.” (Sweeny, Kafka 140) This is absolutely true. Gregor forgets his own existence by trying to please...
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