Gregor and Grete Samsa: Stuck in Gender Roles
The narration “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, when examined through the feminist lens, shows society’s confining expectations towards both sexes in which conformity to the patriarchal structure is inescapable. The modern feminist movement created a need for inquiry into feminist issues; thus, as Gardner et al. outlined the objectives of feminist criticism, an unnatural confinement by a patriarchal society of both genders into preconceived roles becomes exposed (1269). The protagonist, Gregor Samsa, becomes a frightening example of what might happen to somebody who fails to adapt to this strict arrangement, while his sister Grete seizes the chance to empower herself within the narrow confines of her family, which mirror the rules of society. Her brother, unable to cope, ends up cornered and dehumanized as a complete “misfit” in the eyes of society. For a short while, at her brother’s expense, Grete develops and thrives, but her future is foreshadowed. She will subsequently adhere to society’s expectations, get married, and follow the typical life cycle of a patronized female. Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis,” then, allows the critical reader of feminist issues valuable insight to the workings of patriarchal oppression and gender stereotypes by presenting the affected characters’ actions and attitudes.
The structure of the Samsa family is definitely patriarchal in style which means that Gregor’s father, as the oldest male of the