Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

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‘The Metamorphosis’ by Franz Kafka centres on a family of four: Gregor Samsa, Grete - his sister - and their father and mother, an ideal family. The story begins with Gregor’s dramatic physical transformation from a human to a bug. Though Gregor himself doesn’t seem affected, the story depicts how other family members react as well as the change in their attitude and behaviour towards Gregor after his physical changes. Though superficially, the drama of ‘The Metamorphosis’ revolves around Gregor’s bug transformation, it becomes apparent that Gregor’s physical change actually acts as a powerful catalyst to reveal the brutal and cold-blooded nature of his family members. The subtle shift in tones and actions of the characters - especially those of his Father and Grete - gradually rise to the surface as Gregor’s days of being a bug lengthens. The concept of change, both physical and emotional, is brought up throughout the story multiple times. It is reflective of how Kafka’s perspective of core family values changes with money: with financial independence from Gregor, his family becomes more capable of cruelty towards him. Kafka explores absurdity not only through Gregor’s transformation, but the consequences the metamorphosis has on his family.

While Gregor’s physical bug transformation seems appalling and oddly fascinating, what is often neglected and overlooked is the distortion of the relationship between Gregor and Grete. Besides Gregor, Grete is the only other member
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