Additionally, Kafka’s relationships with his family members further demonstrate the devaluation and isolation present in his life. Concerning the novella, Straus writes, “the narration focuses on how Gregor invalidates his family, how his family invalidates and destroys Gregor.” (Nina Pelikan Straus) The story itself focuses on Gregor’s exile from his family by his family. Such exile reflects the invalidation of Kafka in his own and the destruction Kafka felt from his own family. Furthermore, Gregor’s father states that “if he could understand us, then maybe we could come to an agreement with him.” (Metamorphosis) Kafka’s own father was unable to come to terms with him and his experience is paralleled by Gregor and his
Key Ideas: Characterization of Gregor: Kafka depicts Gregor’s thoughts as depressed and hopeless in order to show that he does not believe his situation will get better. This is done in order to show that Gregor no longer has any humanity left because he repeats the same tasks every day which has numbed him.
Franz Kafka’s clear isolation of Gregor underlines the families’ separation from society. In The Metamorphosis, Kafka emphasizes Gregor’s seclusion from his family. However, Gregor’s separation is involuntary unlike the family who isolates themselves by the choices they make. Each family member has characteristics separating them from society. These characteristics become more unraveling than Gregor, displaying the true isolation contained in The Metamorphosis.
Kafka uses the company Gregor is forced to work for to illustrate the Grete undergoes a change in perspective to such a degree that by the end of the novella it is she who declares, “we must get rid of it” (84). This change in perspective shows how Kafka believes that members of society often stop sympathizing with the isolated group when it becomes inconvenient for them to continue doing so. Gregor’s mother reacts in an initial manner somewhere between the father and sister since when first seeing him she “went two steps toward Gregor and collapsed right in the middle of her skirts” (23). These conflicting desires continue through the novella, such as when Mr. Samsa tries to kill Gregor, “she begged him to spare Gregor’s life” (65) but at the same time she is repulsed by him. This illustrates how she wants to help him and tries to think of him the same way she did before his transformation, yet is unable to. This resembles the idealists in society who theoretically support the alienated person but often succumb to social pressures when they are forced to face the problem. These three reactions to Gregor’s transformation as a result of the initiation of his isolation by the manager demonstrate the spectrum of reactions. From the immediate acceptance of the hierarchy represented by Mr. Samsa, to the true compassion of Grete and the idealism of Mrs. Samsa, Kafka shows how a wide variety of reactions is expected from society, and how people often change their opinions.
Both of their fathers are controlling, physically abusive, and overbearing. Kafka’s father was able to rise out of his low place in order to start his own business while Samsa’s father sits around doing nothing and forcing Gregor to work in order to provide for the family (Introduction to Franz Kafka).
The story is very sad and realistic, some of the things that are related in Kafka's story can be found in modern families today. Gregor was a man who sacrifices himself working to pay his father's debts, instead off on his own where he could prospered. Gregor never was recognized by his family of all the efforts that he did, he was taken for granted and he was
In the beginning of the novella, Gregor undergoes a transformation. Many readers view his transformation as he turns into a bug because of the way Kafka describes Gregor. Kafka may have been undergoing a transformation of his own. Kafka dealt with many issues growing up such as self doubt, issues with his father, and eventually, health issues. Like Kafka, Gregor deals with issues with his father and within himself and begins to feel less and less like himself as the novella continues. He awakes from his sleep to ask himself, “What’s happened to me (Kafka, 3)?” With the conflicts Gregor has with his family, especially his father, he begins to feel unwanted and unappreciated. Gregor also feels that he is becoming less sensitive when that used to be one of his main traits as a human (Kafka, 24). Seeing that Gregor is losing his sensitivity, that shows that he is truly losing himself since he is losing one of his main traits. Feeling less like himself, Gregor becomes more distant with his close
Franz Kafka’s, The Metamorphosis, is a novella about Gregor Samsa, a man who devotes everything to fulfilling the needs of his family. Kafka’s existentialist perspective on the meaning of life is illustrated through the use of the protagonist of Gregor Samsa. Existentialism is a philosophy concerned with finding self and
In the early 1900’s people were content with the simple He was just a pest, a nuisance, a cockroach. The analogy that he was not intimidating, such as a spider or snake, but just really an insect that people tried to rid themselves of, like a cockroach, drove deeper into his self-condemnation. Kafka chose Gregor to be the cockroach as he was the only one working in the family, yet he still felt unappreciated and miserable. The moral is that self-loathing can make you an outcast, even if you started out far from it. You will become what you think of yourself, if you do not take necessary steps to improve your reality. Gregor felt like he had no freedom and was trapped in his life caring for and doing everything for everyone else except himself.
In the article, written by Walter H. Sokel, he goes into depth about how Franz Kafka’s life is reflected in the book The Metamorphosis and his other writings. Sokel ties together multiple aspects of the novel and their importance to Gregor and his family dynamic as a whole. Many of the points made in the article address the absurdity of the situation the novel presents and the underlying meaning in the actions of the characters. The premise of the article is pointing to the facts that Gregor's predicament is Kafka inserting his own life frustrations into his literary works. In each passage of the article another part of Gregor's life is laid bare. Sokel’s many inferences that the fault is in Gregor's own doing and not his situation in life, create a complex maze of cause and effect.
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
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,
Born on July 3, 1883, in the Jewish ghetto of Prague in the Czech Republic, Franz Kafka was the eldest son in his Jewish middle class, German speaking, family. From the start he was shaping out to be an outsider which was
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.
‘The Metamorphosis’ by Franz Kafka, the composer of the novel, explores the relations between an outsider and an insider, and Gregor Samsa’s relationship with his family, gradually following up on how Gregor decided to become an insect that he was physically being seen as, although he had been psychologically/ mentally