In the opening lines of German author Franz Kafkas’ short story narrative “The Metamorphosis”, the protagonist Gregor Samsa a disgruntled traveling salesman who lives with and supports his parents and little sister, awakens from a night of unpleasant dreams to find that he has been metamorphosed into a cockroach he calls a “monstrous vermin” (Kafka, page 89). This particularly strange opening sets the stage for in my opinion, a very strange and very vague play. I say this because throughout the whole story we never find out much less are given any clue of how or why he managed to be metamorphosed into this insect. Not to mention what the moral of the story is or the fact that this whole book reads like one big nauseating, joke. As the story begins we basically from the get go are introduced to the daily gist of the book which is Gregor’s everyday struggle with his newly acquired body.
This is evident when Gregor try’s to crawl out of bed but cannot because he is laid down on his back and as a cockroach does not have the means to get himself up and into a upright poistion. To make things worst when he awakens at half-past six o’clock and is immediately late for the five o’clock train he was destined to be on for his meeting with the porter. Gregor is now running the risk of being unemployed if he doesn’t make his appointed rounds as a traveling salesman. It is right before this point that we find out about Gregor’s utter contempt for not only his job and his boss but his special loan workout wage setup as well. You see Gregor’s parents are in debt to his boss who is only referred to as the “chief” (Kafka, page 90) of his firm. Gregor himself who is a returning veteran of our country yearns to be free his Indentured like servitude to his chief so that he can feel free to pursue other goals. This to me I find quite peculiar because it is never stated what he plans on doing after he pays the debt, nor does he seem to have any remarkable talents about him.
As the story proceeds we again find Gregor desperately trying to get up from out of his bed with all his family members inquiring about his early morning agenda through his locked bedroom doors. From that point on as if things were not already bad to begin with, Gregor’s whole world went on a downward spiral the moment the chief clerk makes his way round to the Samsa’s residence to see why Gregor did not make his scheduled trip. Gregor then starts to convey to the chief clerk that he was not in the right frame of mind earlier but is all ready to go now. However Gregor fails to realize that the metamorphic change into a cockroach has not only affected his appearance but it has changed his speech pattern as well. He not only looks like a cockroach but his voice which sounds normal to him translates to others in the sound of a cockroach. Upon hearing this insect like sound and seeing Gregor as he now is the chief clerk leaves the Sama’s residence never...