In the third and final chapter, the family found the new drudgery of their lives. Their “overworked and tired-out family” (p. 880) increasingly neglected Gregor. He longed for responsibility and was “often haunted by the idea that next time the door opened he would take the
“‘It must be gotten rid of,’ cried the sister; ‘That is the only way, father. You must try to get rid of the idea that this is Gregor. The fact that we have believed for so long, that is truly our real misfortune. But how can it be Gregor? If it were Gregor, he would have long ago realized that a communal life among human beings is not possible with such an animal and would have gone away voluntarily. Then we would not have a brother, but we could go on living and honour his memory. But this animal plagues us. It drives away the lodgers, will obviously take over the entire apartment, and leave us to spend the night in the alley.”
Alienation is the primary theme in Kafka's The Metamorphosis. Much of early twentieth-century literature makes as its basic premise that man is alienated from his fellow humans and forced to work in dehumanizing jobs in order to survive. There is no choice for most in this matter.
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
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.
Worried about their son, his entire family urges next to the door and demands Gregor to unlock it. At that moment, his manager angrily storms to his house and demands an explanation for his delay. His mother tries to pleads his manager by complimenting Gregor’s devoted and hardworking attitude. She didn’t want her son to lose her occupation as she still perceived him as the successor of the family, and if anything were to happen, it would only disrupt the sustainability of her family. Finally, Gregor opens the door and witnesses the repulsive and scared faces of his family and manager. The horrified office manager backs away, his mother who was "already in tears...yelling" (12-13) passes out, and the father cries. Nevertheless, Gregor “[filled with] assurance and confidence” continued to see himself as his human self, and tries to protect this identity by delivering a long explanation. However, he doesn’t realize that no one saw him as Gregor, and regardless of how strongly he believed in his perception of himself, his family simply saw him as a disgusting creature. Courageously, the father shoves him back into the room and isolates the hideous Gregor into the room.
One of the most prominent themes present in Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is isolation. Gregor, transformed into a vermin, becomes extremely isolated by both his family and society. Gregor’s family, job, and apartment contribute to this sense of isolation significantly, both in a literal and figurative sense. The sense of isolation that Gregor feels as a result of his metamorphosis, however, is not unique; in fact, isolation is common in every aspect of society as a whole. Gregor’s transformation, therefore, is an allegory for the inherently isolating and alienating nature of the human condition.
This passage contains a tone of isolation and alienation. At the start of the story, Gregor mentions how his room feels as ordinary as every day; however, this paragraph shows how alienated he has become from his own life. Gregor is even uncomfortable in his own bedroom. Although this new ‘bug’ version of himself craves isolation, he shows his humanity when he feels shame as a result of his alienation from the important people in his
Kafka produces this theme of isolation in the book, possibly to make the book more relatable to readers and to himself. Kafka uses Gregor's character as a way to relate himself to the story and to showcase his feelings in the book. Kafka uses himself as a metaphor for Gregor and what he is going through based on his family past. Kafka’s relationships with his parents were toxic, unloving, and abusive. For example, his mother failed to support him and “lacked intellectual depth” in order to understand his feelings and his dreams/goals to become a writer. His father physically and mentally abused Kafka, which affected his life and his writing. Kafka produces elements in his writing that are in direct relation to his life. He felt isolated in his family or due to his family much like he writes Gregor to be. In the novella, Gregor's father steps on and throws harmful things at Gregor when he is a bug, “…for the father was dead set on boarding him. He had filled his pockets with fruit from the bowl on the side board…was hurling apple after apple. Those small red apples ricocheted around the floor as if galvanized, colliding with one another…Another one, however, promptly following it, actually dug right into his back. Gregor wanted to keep dragging
He supported his mother, father and Grete. Now that he cannot work, his family is desperate for money. The father decides to go back to work to bring home money. To make some more money on the side, they rent their apartment out to three lodgers. One night while the lodgers were there, Gregor was seen, which made the lodgers freak out and leave. This marks a turning point in how Grete feels about Gregor. She comes to realize that he has no humanity left. The reader sees this when Grete explains to her father, “It has to go,’ cried his sister. ‘That’s the only answer, Father. You just have to try to get rid of the idea that it’s Gregor. Believing it for so long, that is our real misfortune” (Kafka 1107). Grete no longer thinks of him as Gregor, but refers to him as “it”, showing that she really has no regards for him. This ultimately adds to the decision that they should get rid of
the family representative of Gregor, in a sense, to a mother who does not understand and a father who is hostile and opposing. The father is physically violent toward his metamorphosed Gregor, pushing him through a door in Part I: "...when from behind his father gave him a strong push which was literally a deliverance and he flew far into the room, bleeding freely" (20). Grete appears to concentrate on protecting Gregor from this antagonistic father and an indecisive mother. In Part II, when Grete leads her mother into Gregor's room for the first time, we see the strange way in which Grete has become both the expert and the caretaker of Gregor's affairs (Nabokov 271). She convinces her mother that it is best to remove all of the furniture from his room. Kafka attributes her actions partly to an adolescent zest: "Another factor which might have been also the enthusiastic temperament of an adolescent girl, which seeks to indulge
Kafka uses symbolism in his short story, Metamorphosis. He uses this technique to make the reader try and figure out what was going on in his head. He brought out in this story many things about his life, including his father/family, love life, and his future. He used metaphors to show his love for people in his life. This story is autobiographical about the forces that control Franz Kafka's life. In this paper I will explain how Kafka relates his life to the readers through the story in Metamorphosis.
Isolation not only changes the personalities of Gregor and his family, but also it changes the role and duties Gregor plays in his family. Before the metamorphosis, Gregor worked alone to provide for the entire family. For example, in the beginning, before the transformation, he says, “But besides that, the money Gregor had brought home every month he had kept only a few dollars for himself” (4). This shows Gregor’s selfishness and his family’s heavy dependency on his income. It establishes the fact that Gregor’s family’s loyalty to Gregor was strong because the family depended on Gregor for their own survival, and shows how they betrayed him by disregarding him after he became an insect. The isolation of Gregor caused by the transformation not only affects Gregor’s role in the family, but also changes the role of Mr. Samsa. Mr. Samsa originally told by Gregor: ”Now his father was still healthy, certainly. But he was an old man who had not worked for the past five years and who in any case could not be expected to undertake that much” (17). This shows how irresponsible Mr. Samsa acted for his family in the beginning. Mr. Samsa, a man in his 50s, blamed his unemployment on anxiety and depression from a past failed business. Mr. Samsa changes his role as the useless drag to the provider of the family, and even obtains a new job as a bank manager.
Franz Kafka uses metaphors in the story to show the readers that Gregor’s worthless and useless as a human bug. By doing so, Franz is able to show the readers how Gregor human life is really similar to a bug life.
Although work is immediately presented as the exterior factor pushing Gregor into the system, the majority of the book is characterized by Gregor’s relationship with his family-- and their individual role in forcing Gregor to stay within the norms of society. Even in the context of Gregor’s employment, his work itself can be seen as an extension of his familial pressure to operate within his societal role. The necessity of money, and it’s direct relation to his family was described