Posted at 10.05.2018
Gregor undergoes many changes in the story, "The Metamorphosis" but his family also underwent many changes also. Among the saddest things in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis is the fact Gregor really cares about his family. Despite the fact that right from the start of the storyline, he is the main one who outwardly changes, his family also becomes completely different. A metamorphosis is an alteration that takes place and every family member in this story changed for some reason. Gregor's job as a traveling salesman resulted in his alienation as well as his feeling that he previously to support his family. This is observed by the actual fact that he is always thinking about his family, even though his physical being has changed and causes him discomfort. Mr. Samsa, Mrs. Samsa, and Grete on the other hand, change because they become independent from Gregor, learn to rely on each other and their own abilities.
Grete Samsa, too, was alienated from the society in which she lives because she must care for a brother that society would ban as an outcast. The signs of her metamorphosis appear when she actually is shown as a very caring person in the beginning. As time goes on she grows tired of helping her brother. He becomes a burden, and in the end she is the main one who says they must be rid of him. After his metamorphosis, she must get employment in order to truly have a spot to live, and enough food to eat. She becomes a more responsible person in addition to a more uncaring one towards Gregor. An irony about this is that it appears she may become what Gregor was to the family, the supporter.
Gregor's father is a harsh person. He tries to seem to be as an unhealthy man, but he is very much a healthy man. The father is divided from society because he can not work and support his family as is expected of the father in a family. He expects his son to take care of the family. He does not wish to have anything to do with his son, even prior to the transformation. When his father finds him loose in the house Gregor says, "But really, really, was that still his father?" (Kafka 447). There was no closeness before his transformation and afterwards it was worse. In the end, the father must get a job to help support the family, further alienating Gregor. He feels let down by his son.
The mother is a weak person at the beginning of the storyline. She has asthma, and can barely do any housework. She appears to value her son initially, but later it is more dependence on him to work and manage the family. She helps Grete move the furniture from Gregor's room because she thinks he'll be happier, but she cannot stand to look at him. By the end of the storyline she too has undergone a metamorphosis, because now she is able to sew for a store and do things for herself instead of relying on Gregor to look after her.
Peter F. Neumeyer states, "The shock value of "The Metamorphosis" contributes to the family members' changes, but the notion of shocking the reader is nothing new. The first sentence in the story is intended to shock. When one envisions the fact that a person has just converted into an insect instantly, for no apparent reason, this does have some shock value in itself. Considering that Kafka died in a sanatorium leads someone to believe from reading his novella that he had issues equally Gregor had issues with relationship to other folks. In fact, Kafka's characters parallel characters from stories written by other authors. " (Neumeyer 631).
Nina Peliken Straus' analysis of Kafka's work is mainly revealing the feminist view of
"The Metamorphosis". She says until 1980 gender based theories weren't discussed in literary
circles. Throughout the story the characters experiences are that of European, urban, twentieth
century masculine attitudes. Gregor is the bread winner for his family; his mother and sister are
the care-takers for the family. As the storyplot goes along these roles are rebelled against because by
the end of the story everyone in the household is working, not simply Gregor. The father-son
conflict or Oedipus complex is revealed when Gregor's father throws apples and hits him. This
eventually causes his death. There is an exchange of daughter for son in the end as Grete has
bloomed into a fairly girl.
A statement made by Mark Spilka is, "Kafka's greatest works were built on the ideas of other authors. The story "David Copperfield" is believed to be a background story for "The Metamorphosis". Both come to mind that they will lose their jobs. In both stories the key characters awaken from troubled dreams to find an illness has transformed them. As Spilka highlights, "The Metamorphosis" pertains to the humanity and these stories create a special fiction. Furthermore, the scenery prepares readers for the changes the members of the family will undergo. The scenery is similar, a little bedroom that is messy, a fairly woman, and inclement weather. In "The Metamorphosis", the days are dreary until the end when sunlight comes out. Therefore that their lives were very dull until Gregor was no more around. It's the urban, dreamlike aspect within an authentic story that draws readers to be enveloped in the events. " (Spilka 289).
Every person in the Samsa family experienced a metamorphosis by the time the story comes to an in depth. The family, including Gregor is very close in the very beginning of the story, but as time went by, and each has to get a job, the family becomes more and more isolated from each other. Because of this, Gregor feels he was the reason. "Admittedly, we were holding not now the lively conversations of earlier times, which Gregor had once called in your thoughts with some avidity as he lay down exhausted in the damp sheets of some poky accommodation. " (Kafka 478). "The daddy now feels that he has control of the family again as head of the household. That is realized by '"Then he called: "Well now, come over here. Leave that old business. And pay just a little attention to me. " The women came straightaway, caressed him, and finished their letters. "" (Kafka 488). The mother now has more confidence in herself because she can once more sew and bring in money to the family also. Grete now knows she is able to look after herself, even though she no longer is living with her mom and dad. Their independence sometimes appears in this selection, "His father fell asleep in his armchair shortly after supper was over; his mother, sitting well forward under the lamp, sewed fine linen for a few haberdashery, his sister, who had taken employment as salesgirl, studied stenography and French in the evenings, in the hope of perhaps one day getting an improved job. " (Kafka 478). Although, the family now can move to an inferior house, because they do not have the responsibility of Gregor about them, they ought to still have felt some pain of conscience, that they do not. The mother, the father, Grete leave the apartment after Gregor dies and go on a train ride, something that they had not had the opportunity to do since before Gregor's transformation. The conversation between your mother and the daddy would imply that now Grete could take Gregor's devote supporting the family once she married because she too has gone by having a metamorphosis, and is currently a beautiful woman. She'll support the family herself by working or she'll help the family through marriage (Straus 657-658).
Throughout the entire story it's very apparent that every person is undergoing a metamorphosis of their own. Equally a caterpillar awakens to think it is has changed directly into a beautiful butterfly, so each individual in their own way, became something apart from what he or she was in the beginning.