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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In the story “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, Gregor, was a boy who was turned into some sort of bug in the beginning of the story. As the story went on, Gregor's family started to isolate him for everything that they did. Towards the ending of the story “The Metamorphosis” Gregor’s family started caring less about him, especially his sister who was trying to help him. In Franz Kafka’s story “The Metamorphosis” Gregor a hard working
Neither Kafka nor Gregor followed the existentialist idea of freedom of choice in a person’s life. They both had a life they didn’t ask for and responsibilities they were forced to assume. This principle of lack of freedom is clearly shown by the unexpected transformation of Gregor, waking up as an insect and obtaining the freedom he lacked, emancipating himself of obligations, injustice and final duties. He is freed from the obligation to work to maintain his family and liberated himself from his tyrannical father. Although he turned into a horrible insect, the metamorphosis did not change the beauty of his soul.
The Metamorphosis is, in fact; a projection of Kafka’s own existence. Kafka’s inadequacy about his sexuality is represented in Gregor’s persona. Gregor didn’t marry and within the story, there is nothing about his dating with any lady. Here, just as we see an photograph of a photo of a girl and his honor for it: “…the image of the girl dressed in not anything but fur. " Kafka’s father becomes tyrannical, his mother, but, dominated via her husband, cherished her children passionately.
As the main character, Gregor Samsa, transforms from human state to that of a beetle, there are many aspects that are left unexplained and seemingly unstable. For example, in the novel, Gregor’s transformation into a beetle is left unexplained by Kafka. Kafka opens up the novel by stating, “When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin” (Kafka 1). There is no scientific or physical evidence as to why this transformation occurred, but it can be ascertained that it is a psychological transformation.
In The Metamorphosis by Frank Kafka cruelty is what stemmed Gregor’s change into a large bug and subconsciously motivated him to end his life. Gregor’s new form was a depiction of how he already felt in his household, trapped, voiceless, and small. As Gregor’s metamorphosis developed so did the characters cruelty which affected both the perpetrators and the victims. The Samasa family’s cruelty was demonstrated both physically and mentally by Gregor’s father driving him back into his room, throwing apples at him and by Grete’s use of the word “it”.
1. Almost from the very beginning of Gregor’s metamorphosis, Mr. Samsa has been unwilling to accept Gregor as his son. Furthermore, Gregor’s transformation into an offensive form of an insect, constantly reminds Mr. Samsa of the grotesque, feeble, and pathetic aberration that he has fathered. Consequently, now that Gregor has genuinely revealed himself in all his audacious behavior, his cruel father is driven to destroy him. In his eyes, Gregor has become everything loathsome to him—scrawny, parasitic, and futile—not the kind of son this once successful and ambitious storekeeper could be proud of.
Hurry, get the doctor. Did you just hear Gregor talking?’ ‘That was a voice of an animal’” (12). Through Gregor’s perspective, one may assume that his response to his manager was heard loud and clear and the only modification to his identity is the physical change he has undergone which highlights the importance of Kafka’s change in perspective. Although Gregor believes himself to be in control of the situation, the third person narration as well as the other character’s remarks reveal quite the opposite.
The Repercussions of Cruelty Cruel actions lead to cruel endings. Gregor Samsa, the protagonist in Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis, is turned into a bug from the mental and emotional abuse by the hands of his own family. The cruelty in the Samsa household is apparent from the beginning of the storyline. Their neglect and lack of compassion for Gregor's condition immediately sets the dark and miserable mood of the novella. Gregor’s whole existence has been about caring for his family and making sacrifices for their well being.
Gregor’s initial reaction to his transformation shows his preoccupation with work. His confusion over his radical transformation does not last long, quickly becoming concerned with work and disregarding that he woke up physically transformed into a monstrous vermin. Immediately after realizing he had transformed, Gregor explains, “Well, I haven’t given up hope completely; once I’ve gotten the money together to pay off my parents’ debt to [the boss] that will probably take another five to six years… But for the time being I’d better get up, since my train leaves at five” (4). The quick transition of Gregor’s thoughts from the initial shock to his economic duties reveals his ironic nonchalant attitude towards his nonsensical transformation and
She goes from being a girl into becoming a woman. This occurs while her pity for Gregor fades away because caring fro him as become a duty for her. Grete takes on many responsibilities as she matures. Such as, getting a job to help the family. As her care for Gregor also fades away, she soon decides that the Samsa’s must get rid of Gregor.
Gregor is the main provider within the family for the amount of income he brings, and is idolized for his role. Being raised in the 20th century, Gregor 's view on women had been the same as any other male during this time period and looked down upon women as inadequate, and, in most societies, the man provides and the woman maintains; however, this viewpoint alternates once the unexpected change in their life occurs resulting in a switch of leadership within their household. "Gregor felt very proud that he had been able to provide such a life in so nice an apartment for his parents and his sister. (21)" After his mysterious modification within his physical form, his mentality also weakened.
In fact, her parents saw Grete as irrelevant, “During the first forenight, Gregor’s parents could not bring themselves to enter his room, and often he heard them expressing their heartfelt appreciation since she had seemed to them a rather useless girl.” This could be seen as Grete’s parents using her for their own personal gain just how they used Gregor. If her parents treat her as they treated Gregor, Grete will end up like an insect just as Gregor did and become an insect. This will only happen if Grete has a passion for serving her parents. The reason that Gregor let this happen to himself is because he enjoyed serving his family.
To management, workers like Gregor become disposable at the slightest infraction. Indeed, Gregor is dispensable to even his own family. When Gregor first found success at work and brought money to his family, they had been “astonished and delighted” (Kafka 27). However, their wonderment soon fades as “they had just gotten used to it” and “the money was received with thanks and given with pleasure, but no special feeling of warmth