Authority In Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis

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In Metamorphosis, Kafka uses the role of the Father to depict parental authority. Throughout the novel, the Father’s attitudes towards Gregor changes as he re-establishes himself as the patriarch, inside the family hierarchy. The protagonist, Gregor, genuinely cares for his family. However, after his metamorphosis, their loyalty is tested. Slowly, he is rejected by his family who he adores, showing us just how important he was within the family unit.

The family take Gregor for granted. “I have responsibilities for my parents and my sister”(101), Gregor is the sole provider for the family; being the only one to uphold a job. Without him, they would not be able to afford simple necessities. His family as a result, become lethargic; weak and
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The same man that lay “feebly buried in bed,”(124) who could not “get to his feet any more,”(124) was now standing “fairly erect; wearing a smart blue uniform with golden buttons,”(124). He had an “alert and vigorous expression”(124) in his eyes. As he raised his feet to an “uncommon height”(124) above Gregor, we understand just how much he loathes Gregor 's presence. Kafka uses adjectives like ‘alert’ and ‘vigorous’, strengthens how quick he has become; how he is physically strong, healthy and full of energy. Kafka uses the verb ‘buried’ to emphasise just how debilitated his father was. How he was so lifeless and cadaverous, and how limited his abilities were. His new occupation as a bank messenger, with new uniform, fills him with a strong sense of authority. This aids him in affirming himself as the head of the household. He now provides income, which was Gregor purpose in the family, which removes him from the family unit. Retaining his authority, he does “refuse to take off his uniform”(127). To him he is never off duty; guarding Gregor and protecting his family. He is always alert, keeping Gregor at bay. Gregor is no longer his son, but instead is a threat to his…show more content…
Gregors pain is not purely physical, as his unhelpfulness pains him as well. As before they depended on him so strongly, and now he needs them more than ever. However, he is a burden that they have to take care of, and they conclude that Gregor is really just a giant insect that creates no income. The rotting fruit stays in his back, because “no one dared to remove the apple”(126). It decayed slowly, allowing him to come to terms with the truth; that he is unwanted. As his mother begs for his life, we see Gregor’s physical and mental condition significantly decrease, all because of the actions of his father. Kafka shows us that because the Father is strong and powerful again, Gregor becomes a waste of space. Once, they relied heavily upon him, and now he is excluded, feared and an outcast. In
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