Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis is a tragic tale of Gregor Samsa, a travelling salesman, who turns into a gigantic vermin one morning. Gregor’s fate is blamed on his family’s over-dependence to him and Gregor’s inability to break free from his imprisoning responsibility. Gregor assumes the responsibility of providing for the family. Even before his metamorphosis, Gregor’s relationship with his family slowly deteriorates as he realizes he only exists for his them. He also hates his job as he laments,”O, God, what a demanding job I’ve chosen!…
The hell with it all”(Kafka, F. , 2004, p. 2). He continues to complain about travelling, train connections, bad food and superficial human relationships. But no matter how much discomfort he gets from his job, he cannot quit for the sake of his family. Worse, his father’s debt makes him stuck to his job for a very long time. Clearly, Gregor’s family causes him to transform into a vermin. Worse, after the metamorphosis, all his capabilities to provide ceases and his family see him as useless.
The very people whom he cares for loathe him: his mother faints at the sight of him, his sister rejects him and his father bombards him with apples which cause an infection to his back. Finally, they plot to get rid of Gregor and start a new life On the other hand, Gregor himself is partly responsible for his fate. He loathes the bad situation that he is in as he has cursing thoughts at the beginning of the story. He wants to break free; but he is not able to do that because he thinks of the welfare of his family.
He submits, albeit unwillingly, to his role. In fact, when he discovers his transformation that morning, he worries more about his family and how to get to work than his disgusting appearance: “… In any case, right now I have to get up. My train leaves at five o’clock” (Kafka, p. 2). The metamorphosis symbolizes Gregor’s empty and insignificant life, his personal alienation from his family, as well as from the outside world, and the effects of his numbing job.
Work Cited: Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Kessinger Publication (2004).
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