Gender Roles In Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

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Gregor Samsa’s transition from human to vermin was not the only shift that happened through the duration of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. The novel is centered around Gregor who wakes up as a vermin, presumably a cockroach, which catalyses a series of emotionally traumatic experiences for him and his family, culminating in Gregor’s death. Yet the most significant change is, in fact, the gender role reversal seen both with Gregor and Grete, his sister, as Gregor becomes more effeminate and Grete becomes more emasculate, directly correlating with their societal and emotional transformation due to Gregor's physical change.
From the moment, Gregor wakes up he has transformed. But not just as a vermin. Gregor, as the breadwinner and dominant male figure of his household, is committed to his job of traveling salesman. In fact, he awakes as a vermin and is immediately concerned about work. He even ventures to say, “The business worries are far worse than they are on the actual premise at home” (Kafka 77), when he has just turned into a beetle, illustrating just how important his position in the family’s social hierarchy is. He is the breadwinner, while the rest of his family is practically leeching off of his work. But, due …show more content…

While Gregor begins are the all mighty, male provider, he regresses into an effeminate state as he no longer can perform his tasks for work. As his transformation into a vermin worsens, he no longer can perform any action and further conforms to the true identity of a bug. Grete, on the other hand, picks up the male provider role that Gregor could no longer perform, but then, as she becomes tired with the work and as Gregor identifies with an “it”, goes back to her female role. Gregor's physical change forces him to degenerate to death, but allows Grete to thrive, growing into a

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