Tragedy In The Metamorphosis Summary

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In this story the main character “Gregor” who Kafka uses to reflect his own life of alienation and abandonment. Gregor is seen as a salesman who works day in and day out to support his family who has never given him a dime.” I agree with Robbie Batson Reality Through Symbolism, about the similarities between Kafka and his main character Gregor Samsa. Batson states that “The most obvious similarity is they both possess jobs as traveling salesmen. The readers are told Gregor is a traveling salesman and though it is not specified what he is selling, he has worked for the company for four years to pay off his parents’ debt as his father is unable to do so. Kafka worked as a traveling insurance salesman for most of his life. At the time of writing “The Metamorphosis,” he had been employed there for four years against his father’s wishes. The only difference between the two is their father’s opinions about their jobs.” seeing this about Kafka shows that in his everyday life he had been alienated and unappreciated or maybe that he felt the same way as Gregor did when his father also did not appreciate him. This shows that Kafka had a good way of hiding how he truly felt.

Even when death was around the corner and he had put that he wanted his writings to be burned, which his publicist refused the idea of doing so. “unpublished manuscripts burned, but his literary agent ignored his request. Perhaps this is an indication as to how he is treated during his lifetime” (Batson). Kafka suppressed his feelings for so long that he didn’t want anyone to know the way he felt, so he kept it secret. When it came down to his will, he pretty much wanted all his feelings to be burned, never to see the light of day at all.

Gregor blinded by the love he has for his family. Gregor cannot see the harsh way they treat him. The only one who actually cares for him is his sister Grete. From the beginning anyway, since she becomes really cold-hearted at the end. “It has to go,” Gregor’s sister cried out, “that’s the only way, father. You just have to try to let go of the notion that this thing is Gregor” (Kafka 38). Samsa becomes a saddened mess, he feels betrayed by the only person who he thought actually cared for him but not wants him gone from her life. Not only does Grete make Gregor feel like a burden but she is acting like he is the reason to her life being the way it is. Grete thinks Gregor is holding the whole family back from a normal life and then she states that they did everything possible for him and that he is not her brother and the proceeds to call him a monster.

At the beginning of the story, Samsa is just waking up so he can get ready for work. I noticed that nothing preoccupies Gregor’s mind than the way he thinks about his work. No wonder even in sickness, Samsa says to his manager, “I am not obstinate, nor a shirker; traveling is burdensome, but without it, I could not live”(Kafka 10). Gregor’s conversion into an ugly critter clearly shows Kafka’s uncertain perception towards the whole concept of the body.

Arnab Das Kafka and the Metamorphosis of the Human Body, states “The framed picture of a woman covered in fur that hangs in Gregors room shows the absence of normal sexuality in Gregor‘s life, unlike the other salesman, those ― who live like harem women. (TM, p. 4)” The gradual metaphorical alteration of Gregor’s body into an insect and his mind becoming that of a critter shows the extent of how alienated his mind and body are. Gregor’s manifested obsessions are so out of control that even when he gets up with the induced disability, he still has the conviction that he will board the 7 o’clock train. His job is making him unaware that he can no longer support his family’s needs — consequently, Gregor as a man lacks the backbone, and he never puts himself first.

Well once he opens his eyes and he realizes he’s become some sort of critter like insect. He is shocked for just a moment but then returns to being calm as if it’s every day that you just magically become a bug out of nowhere. This is where everything starts to get a little tricky, Gregor is still thinking about going to work and needing to get up to do so. Cristina Nicolae FRANZ KAFKA’S METAMORPHOTIC PRISON: THE DOOR AND THE WINDOW States that “Gregor having to face the challenges/limitations of his new body, an endeavor which brings about the awareness of the real. Yet, it is only on opening the door and seeing himself mirrored in the others’ reaction that he fully understands the metamorphosis is not a mere illusion”. So when Gregor tries his hardest it still isn’t good enough.

That’s when his family starts to get involved telling him he is going to be late for work and that he needs to get going. All while Gregor is losing his human speech to talk to them. Then all this guilt washes upon him and all he can think of is how he needs to support his family. When his family didn’t even encourage him the way he wanted them to while trying to open the door for them. “Come on, Gregor they should have shouted, “just keep at it, keep working on that lock!” (Kafka 11). Then all of sudden he is imagining his family encouraging him on, in which he finally gets the strength to finally open his bedroom door.

Even after they find out Gregor is an insect now, his family is upset at him for chasing his boss and they are upset now at the fact that Gregor can no longer support them. which makes Gregor upset that he can not provide for his family. To top it all off during the discovery of Gregor being this hideous creature he makes his mother faint, which inturns his father to get a broomstick; trying to get Gregor back inside of his room. in the end, Gregor doesn’t get a happily ever after, His sister Grete who he loved deeply and wanted to send her to a gifted school and was not able to, turned on him telling his family that the insect in front them was not Gregor and that they needed to find a way to get rid of him. which in all hindsight was messed up in my opinion.

He became alienated from his job, his family, and from everything else. he was abandoned in his last moments. Gregor died alone in his room waiting for the sun to come up and even then he still loved his family after everything they did him and they didn’t appreciate him when he did everything else to support them. they also threw his body away in the trash and they didn’t seem one bit remorseful from his passing. They actually moved on with their lives and seem to be happier without Gregor.

From this, a reader can actually relate to Gregor’s position in his family. The way he is isolated to the feelings of abandonment and betrayal. How one day you can go from any normal day to everyone you know coming against you. “The point is, however, that the creature is Gregor, and the implication of the denial is that only when the family (or society) refuses to recognize the true nature of Gregor (the loathsome aspects of wasted living) can life remain tolerable” (The Explicator, Hill). I agree with Hill, that even when Gregor wanted nothing more than the encouragement and love from his family. they never showed their acceptance of him. Neither as salesman or as a terrifying-looking bug. they didn’t show him that they had his back or that he was even part of the family. instead, all they cared about was money and how will they be able to handle the situation before them.

Gregor’s family is Shown as being selfish and not even asking Gregor how he feels after his body has morphed into a bug. Then his family starts neglecting him, from not understanding his needs and wants like how the tastes in food changed for him when his body morphed. to top it all off they left his body filthy and with a rotten apple core in his back. and Gregor became very frail and thin like, after being neglected. his family didn’t even bother to check up on him, nor did they even bother to clean his room. at the very end of the story, Gregor is covered in dust and grime from his room not being clean. Then they judged Gregor on how awful he looks as if appearance really matters when all he did was feel guilty that he could no longer support his family’s needs or be able to take care of them anymore. From this point, Kafka shows that some families aren’t perfect and that what you see above the surface is different from what you see down below. meaning that there will be a time where you as the reader feel unappreciated by your own family, friends, or even in marriage.

If I can be truly honest here I’ve felt what Kafka has felt in his life, along with the character he created “Gregor Samsa” with the dealings of his family. No family is perfect by any means, and my family is a great example of that part. My family makes me feel like I’m a burden especially when they tell me they’re tired of giving me rides to work or school. They make me feel guilty as if I mean to ask for rides to work or school. I just thought that maybe it would be fine to ask them for rides since my sister’s job was on the way towards my school and job. It makes me feel like I’m a problem that they can’t solve. to top it all off they like to throw it up in my face and tell me all the things they have done for me. then act like I was never thankful for the rides or the support they have given me over the years of when I first started out in college.

I’ve thought the same things as Gregor. I have thought about what it would be like if my family was better off without me in their lives. that’s how my family has truly made me feel like if I had just disappeared from their lives they would be a whole lot better off and I wouldn’t be able to disturb them any longer. The same Kafka Describes at the end of the Metamorphosis where Grgors family gets on the bus together and they leave the city only to grieve about Gregor once and pretend he doesn’t exist anymore and that their lives only get better without him being there so that he cant get in the way of their happiness.


Cite this paper

Tragedy In The Metamorphosis Summary. (2020, Sep 13). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-metamorphosis-book-review/

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