A Franz Kafka: “The Metamorphosis” – An Analysis
Franz Kafka is considered to be one of the most important and influential writers of the 20th century. His works, most of which was published posthumously, continues to be a source of research, scholarship and philosophical discussion in diverse academic, literary and popular arenas. The Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung) is a novella by him, first published in 1915. It is often cited as one of the seminal works of short fiction of the 20th century and is widely studied in colleges and universities across the western world (Wikipedia, 2011). The story is mainly revolves with Gregor Samsa, who found himself transformed into his bed into a horrible vermin. This made Grete, his sister, to help him out by giving him food every day. She had served him twice a day. But, eventually, she has grown impatient with the task. One day, when Gregor emerges from his room, his father chases him around the dining room table and pelts him with apples. One of the apples got lodged in his back, causing an infection. Because of his infection and his hunger, Gregor is soon barely able to move at all. "The fusillade of fruit is an uncontrollable, instinctive reaction to the presence of his transformed son. The father is no thinker, no philosopher, and no great spirit either. He does not understand the unrecognizable son and cannot really hope to. His assault of apples is a pathetic rage of incomprehension, almost pitiable--but nonetheless lethal, easily penetrating the son's armor. Remorse follows, no doubt, for there are no more attacks, but the damage has been done." (Sparknotes, 2005) Then, here came the three lodgers that they had accepted to earn extra income for the family. One night, when Grete was practicing playing her violin, the lodgers wished for a performance. This also lured and enticed Gregor so he made his way downstairs, but one of the lodgers sees Gregor, and all three declare that they will leave the next day. Furthermore, they will not pay the rent that is due. Gregor was pushed back into his own room and died soon after. The main character, Mr. Gregor Samsa, a travelling salesman, is the breadwinner of the Samsa family. The family’s comfort is dependent on his ability to work. In the first few paragraphs, it was illustrated that he was so insistent in going to work despite his incapability. Gregor has been devoting most of his time in working so he could keep the family afloat and dig his father out of debt. His job may appeal to be degrading, frustrating, and meaningless, but he has still endured all those to secure his family’s condition. It was said that “In fifteen years of service, Gregor has never once yet been ill.” (Kafka, 1915, chap. 1) Because of this, he had no social life since he was always busy. Through Gregor's portrayal, Kafka showed his experiences in his society; how he had not been trusted by his employer just because he is a Jew. Kafka had also reflected his relationship with his family on the story. Both Kafka and Gregor had been very much expected of of their dominant father and yet, through Gregor, had disappointed him because of the transformation, and with Kafka, through his withdrawal of his Jewish heritage. (Oppapers, 2005) Gregor’s love and devotion towards his family remain unchanged throughout the story. He had a very hard time dealing with everything as his family had abandoned him. But even though it's as if the world had turned his back on him, he had still loved his family the same way that he had always been (Echeat, 2004). He respects his parents very much and he never wanted to disappoint them. Even when confronted with proof of his family’s scorn and rejection, Gregor refuses to see them as anything but justified in their disappointment and anger towards him. He’s also very supportive in pursuing Grete’s dream. It was said there that “It was his secret plan to send her to the conservatory next year though it would cause great...
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