"The Metamorphosis" By Franz Kafka. Essay

1155 words - 5 pages

The Metamorphosis: A Family TragedyBy Melissa MullinsThe long story The Metamorphosis is one that is very subtle and very delicate, yet at the same time quite disturbing. One doesn't expect to open a book and begin reading a story whose opening line finds the main character awakening to find that he has been transformed into a beetle-like insect. In reading the story I didn't find it to be in any way amusing or comical. Instead I found it to be horrifyingly tragic. It seems to me that in this story there is one disconcerting event after another. Gregor is unappreciated by his family, who depended on him for their happiness. The debts incurred by his parents forced Gregor into his job as a traveling salesman, a job that was extremely tiring and unrewarding. Gregor's loyalty and devotion to his family and their happiness was unappreciated and taken for granted. Even after his death, it is obvious Gregor was there for a cause. The purpose for his existence was to serve his family.After Gregor's sudden change from his normal hardworking self to that of a bug, he was no longer of any use to his family, and he was unappreciated in every way imaginable. He no longer had a job and therefore, nothing to offer to his family who depended on him for so long. The household began to fall apart, and Gregor was only regarded as a problem, for he no longer served a purpose in the family. He was locked up in his room, held prisoner by the very family he had worked so hard to provide for all those years. Slowly his possessions were taken away, and for some time no one bothered to even clean his room. His father, disgusted by his appearance, became violent and abusive towards him. His mother was shocked and perhaps more than a little frightened at the sight of him. The only one who seemed to have any compassion for his situation was his sister, Grete. In the beginning of his change Grete was the only one who seemed to have any degree of concern for Gregor's wellness. She brought him food and when he refused to eat it she kept trying until she found something that he would eat. But even his sister's kindness and concern didn't last long, and soon she began to regard Gregor as a nuisance as well.Without Gregor working to support the family they were forced to take on individual jobs, which undoubtedly added to the resentment they already felt towards Gregor, and his inability to contribute anything to the household. This seems to have only caused Gregor to be neglected even more than before. His room and himself became covered in dirt and dust balls. He was abused by his father, which caused him serious and permanent injuries. More often than not he was left without kind any nourishment at all. To his family, when he lost his 'human-ness" he was little more than a thorn in their sides. To them he was only a vermin, a hindrance, and not Gregor, their dutiful hardworking son. Understanding Gregor was something his parents had failed to do, even before the metamorphosis....

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