The Metamorphosis is a novella written by Franz Kafka in 1912. The main character, Gregor, who experiences metamorphosis, is victimized throughout the remainder of his life as an insect. Although it was not his fault initially to become a vermin, he deals with it the best he possibly could; however, his family did not. As Gregor is growing more isolated from the household, the better off he is. He psychologically distances himself from others, hides underneath his couch, and hopes he would somehow reverse the metamorphosis and go to his old self. But as time passes by, Gregor stops fighting his inner battle and accepts the fact that he is no longer a part of the human race, which urges him to reminisce. Then, he finally realizes that the more he worked for the family, the less loved he was; he spent no quality time with them, but was always expected to bring home the money and work harder and harder, beyond his limits, which he mentions in the beginning of the novella: “Other traveling salesman live like harem women. For instance, when I come back to the inn during the course of the morning to write up the necessary orders, these gentlemen are just sitting down to breakfast. If I were to try that with my boss, I’d be thrown out on the spot”(3). Through his transofrmation into a hideous creature, i.e a veminous insect, Gregor becomes more similar to the rest of his surrounding and his metamorphosis depicts the failure of humanity as he becomes, in many ways, more human than the rest of of his family, while at the same time, altering his lifestyle to the one of a vermin.
“One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he found himself transformed into a gigantic insect”(1). The opening line of the novella portrays the event that initiated all of Gregor’s troubles. Gregor, a travelling salesman who worked all day and night to provide for his family and pay off their debts, has experienced metamorphosis; he transforms into a vermin. From that point on, Gregor experiences alienation from the society, specifically his family. Nonetheless, what can be deduced from his metamorphosis, it was Gregor’s cry for help; Gregor is excluded from his society because he works too much. However, instead of being praised for being a hard worker, Gregor is punished. Therefore, Gregor’s metamorphosis is a blessing in disguise where he is saved from the cruel behavior and high expectations.
There are two symbols in the novella that are crucial for understanding the role of society in Gregor’s life: the framed magazine cover of a woman wearing a fur boa, and the apple thrown by Gregor’s father into his back.
The framed picture is mentioned on the first page of the novella: “Above the table, on which an unpacked collection of sample cloth goods was spread out (Samsa was a travelling salesman)...disappeared(1). The picture is clearly something Gregor appreciates and loves; otherwise, he would not have hung it up on the...