The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
From this story, I inferred that suffering is a necessary component of a healthy mind. Every member of the Samsa family experiences this suffering and their spirit and will are awakened by it. They all undergo a painful metamorphosis, Gregor’s being the most dramatic. The complacent relationship between Gregor and his family is shattered one morning and their roles are basically reversed.
To feel an obligation to an unpleasant task and to have others depend on you is to have a sense of purpose. It is a basic human need that makes one feel venerable and deserving. The most glaring evidence for this theory is the tradition of serving one’s country in the military, which Gregor has done. Self-sacrifice and hard work are what enable us to look people in the eye.
It is this need which was Gregor’s motivation for trudging on through a job which he despises. He is like a bottom-feeder for other people’s love and respect. He maintains a spark of real intimacy for his sister, which later surfaces when he hears her playing the violin to the guests. At that moment he realizes what he has been starving for as he plays out in his mind the fantasy of keeping her in his room, having her play to him, kissing her, and telling her his plans of sending her to a music school. This gaining of Grete’s love and appreciation is the reward Gregor feels he has earned through his suffering. When he hears his family’s decision that he is in no way a human being and must be gotten rid of, he realises that his hope will never be realised. He dies alone shortly after this, as if he is giving up.
It is this way of life which each member of Gregor’s family fights to attain. His father, after becoming basically an invalid through five years of inactivity, quickly becomes strong and capable through his new job. He clings to this new responsibility, wearing his uniform constantly. He even...
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