It appears that the people who care the most end up getting hurt by the ones they love. The more time, energy, love, and money that a person sometimes invests get thrown back in their face once something drastic happens. In turn, this causes feelings of worthlessness and isolation and can eventually lead to death. Franz Kafka understands this better than anyone else and can portray this in his novella, the Metamorphosis. In his novella, The Metamorphosis, the protagonist, Gregor Samsa is one who undergoes a physical and mental transformation due to the unrelenting pressures that his father placed upon him which eventually cause him to die. At the heart of the father-son relationship lies Gregor and his father whose relationship is explored
I have chosen The Metamorphosis as my subject for this paper; I will take a close look at how the death of Gregor Samsa opens the doors to understanding the story. I will give examples of irony through Gregor’s metamorphosis and how this irony brings together the conclusion of the story. Through his death we see the truth behind his parents, which in it’s self is ironic. It is difficult to pinpoint one specific thing to write about in the story; there are just so many things that can be brought to light. If I happen to lose sight of my topic bear with me, there is just so much to be discussed in the novella.
In Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”, the character Gregor transforms from a man into a bug, specifically a cockroach. Although Gregor physically changes, he does not change as a person. Gregor merely accepts his new condition as a bug and his family’s continuous abuse and hostility. Gregor’s acceptance of his new bug form is representative of his passive personality before and after his transformation. Gregor’s passivity, in response to the hostile world around him, causes his eventual downfall. Therefore, Kafka uses the character Gregor to exemplify how a passive attitude can cause one’s demise.
Kafka’s Metamorphosis suggests to his readers to take a glimpse inside a dysfunctional atmosphere triggered from a painful childhood, to see how influential each member of the family contributes to the dynamics, but also to learn how to make light of the situation with acceptance. Kafka is reflecting on his own relationship with his family in Metamorphosis. He sees himself in Gregor, or is he him.
People have a high amount of pressure on them in their daily lives with social, mental, and physical appearances. Kafka represents this pressure he has on himself through Gregor. This allows Kafka to vent many emotions and feelings through this novella Everyone is there own person but some take others opinions to heart to often and need to see things are not as bad as they seem. Throughout The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka, Kafka displays himself through Gregor, and shows his true feelings about people and society he lives in.
In Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, the nature of Gregor Samsa's reality changes insignificantly in spite of his drastic physical changes. Gregor's life before the metamorphosis was limited to working and caring for his family. As a traveling salesman, Gregor worked long, hard hours that left little time to experience "life." He reflects on his life acknowledging the "plague of traveling: the anxieties of changing trains, the irregular, inferior meals, the ever changing faces, never to be seen again, people with whom one has no chance to be friendly" (Kafka 13). Gregor, working to pay off his family's debt, has resigned himself to a life full of work.
Kafka utilizes a new narrative perspective in the last passage of his work to expose the one-sided love between Gregor and the rest of his family. The majority of the story had been told in a free indirect discourse restricted to the mind of Gregor. In this position, Gregor’s humanity —despite his inhuman exterior— and his genuine love for family is revealed. As the only source of income for the family, he works with every fiber in his being to overcome the debt that plagues them, as “He felt great pride at having been able to give his parents and sister a life like this in such a beautiful apartment” (411). This compassion is clearly not reciprocated when the narration shifts to the remaining family following Gregor’s demise. Instead they critique the shelter that Gregor
Gregor’s role in his family characterizes him as an altruistic individual whose nature made him ignorant to his family’s manipulation. Gregor endures most of his hardships without complaint and puts the needs of his family firmly above his own. Upon realizing his transformation at the beginning of the novella, his first thoughts were not of alarm but of great concern about being late to work because it is his only means of taking care of his family (Kafka 6). After his father’s business failed, Gregor “work[ed] with special ardor” (27) doing laborious work as a traveling salesman, not only to “pay off [his] parents’ debt”(4), but to also spend what little money he has to give Grete the opportunity to perform violin professionally (26). With all these responsibilities, it’s inevitable for Gregor to be under great stress, which can infer that Gregor’s transformation is a result of his willful desire to escape the pressures his overburdened life. Gregor struggled between remaining a steadfast provider or following his desire for independence, however, his metamorphosis freed him from a job he detests. Now that it is impossible for Gregor to work, Mr.Samsa reveals that “he possessed more money than Gregor knew about” (#). This is a significant event where Kafka uses the motif of betrayal to emphasize the corruption in familial infrastructure represented through Gregor’s sacrifice and interaction with his family, as well as to socially comment about how people in society use
The Metamorphosis (Die Verwandlung 1912), Franz Kafka’s best known short story, is a master work of incredible psychological, sociological and existential malaise. Although his points are simple and straightforward, this richly layered and textured story is open to many interpreta-tions, making it complex, yet critical to decipher. There is an incredible amount of theories based off of what this story could possibly symbolize or represent, but it is of the autobiographical in-terpretation that is undeniably the most enlightening. This interpretation allows the reader to gen-uinely understand the tale on an intense level that would not be able to be reached, otherwise. In order to gain true insight on the autobiographical approach to The Metamorphosis, a brief examination of his life is required; his thoughts, his beliefs, the acknowledgment of the cruel circumstances of his life, especially his home life, must be made clear that the anguish of his own world is the model for the themes in his stories.
Gregor allowed his family to harass, bully and degrade him, in the same manner that Kafka had allowed his family to do. The similarity of Kafka’s relationship with his father was also portrayed with Gregor and his relationship with his father. Kafka intended to reflect and highlight the decisions that were made by Gregor being influenced by his family, by making them important protagonists within the novel. Gregor expresses from the beginning of the novel how his father intended on raising him, “from the first day of his new life that his father considered only the strictest treatment called for in dealing with him”38, much like Kafka’s father had. Gregor’s father was rather tough on him and his duties, and would take no clear- minded steps into understanding what Gregor, as a bug, did or tried to communicate through the actions he took. As he jumped to conclusions the second he saw Gregor out of his room, and would beat him with a cane trying to pressure him back to staying in his room as if he wasn’t even his son, or throwing apples at him. This provokes Gregor, allowing him to think more rationally, becoming more introverted, yet inside he was suffering with such sadness and crying desperately for some kind of recognition, much like Kafka did.
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka represents the selfish views of family. Kafka transforms Gregory, the son, into a dung beetle to show how members of the family evolve and adjust due to life-changing events. Traditionally, when families overcome hardships, a stronger bond is formed between the members of the familial unit. In this story, Kafka takes the family on a journey of life, one day wonderful and the next full of strife. Kafka’s view as portrayed in The Metamorphosis is that family, when faced with difficult change, sometimes transforms from a harmonious unit into its selfish individual components.
Franz Kafka was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1883 to a middle class Jewish family (Biography). Much of his writing was influenced by his relationship with his father and probably by being a Jew in Germany and Austria until his death in 1924. One of these writings is “The Metamorphosis”. People felt confined in the roles of society, in family life, and have difficulty in handling the pressures with the stress of everyday life.
Many views of existentialism are exposed in Kafka's Metamorphosis. One of these main views is alienation or estrangement which is demonstrated by Gregor's relationship with his family, his social life, and the way he lives his life after the metamorphosis. Namely, it suggests that man is reduced to an insect by the modern world and his family; human nature is completely self absorbed. Kafka reflects a belief that the more generous and selfless one is, the worse one is treated. This view is in direct conflict with the way things should be; man, specifically Gregor should be treated in accordance to his actions. Gregor should be greatly beloved by his family regardless of his state. This idea is displayed in three separate themes. First,
In The Metamorphosis, Kafka establishes, through his religious imagery and gospel-esque episodic narration, the character of Gregor Samsa simultaneously as a kind of inverse Messianic figure and a god-like artist, relating the two and thus turning the conventional concept of the literary hero on its ear. The structure of the novel reflects that of the Gospel of Mark in that it is narrated in individual events, and in this it is something of a Künstlerroman - that is, the real metamorphosis is over the course of the novel, rather than just at the beginning, and that change is a heightened sensitivity to the world in an artistic sense. The motif of change is a rather theological one as well: we see it in a religious sense, in the form of
Franz Kafka, in his novel The Metamorphosis, explores two conflicting ideas through his protagonist Gregor: unity and isolation. Gregor’s transformation created a whole life of distress for him, but on the other hand also formed a deeper and better relationship for the rest of the family.