In Metamorphosis, Kafka memorably explores the role of family in the novel by showing betrayal in the family towards Gregor. The theme of duty to family is embedded in the story by showing how Gregor takes care of the family all the time. Gregor is a salesman, one morning he wakes up to find himself transformed into some sort of giant insect.
Throughout the story Gregor has to deal with his physical and emotional change as his family slowly adapts with his metamorphosis. But, they don’t accept Gregor’s change with an open mind and eventually turn their backs on Gregor and leaving him to his death later on in metamorphosis. This is shown after his physical transformation, his family still continues to trouble their son; Gregor, with the task of supporting the family with his monthly income, even though he has been doing that for a long time already. The fact that Gregor is a travelling salesman, automatically shows that there is a fairly weak connection between him and the family. This is the alienation of Gregor as he has very little connection to the family. So when Gregor is travelling, he is unable to communicate with his family.
When he is unable to work due to his physical transformation, things only get worse from there. Instead of taking Gregor to somewhere where he can receive medical treatment or help from anybody, his family leaves Gregor in his room, providing no support. This suggests how when Gregor is completely useless to the family, the family fully neglects him. This shows how there is a very weak connection between him and the family.
His mother, could not bear to look at Gregor due to his physical condition; his father is the person who is the person who cares about Gregor the least, and now that Gregor is completely useless shows that he cannot provide for the family. The only person who seems to care for Gregor would be his sister. Grete. She cares for him for the longest time, but eventually turns her back on Gregor as she finished her metamorphosis. This could be because that Gregor is no longer paying for her violin lessons, therefore making Gregor useless to her and by taking care of Gregor, it interferes with her practice time. This shows the Grete puts her priorities before Gregor, for example, her violin practice. This already shows that how Gregor is already automatically put as a small priority or not worth her time. This shows the complete rejection of Gregor from the family.
Gregor is kept in in room alone, where isolation is shown. This shows the isolation of Gregor in his room and has zero interactions. This links with Gregor’s memory. When all communication stops altogether and the Sampson family completely ignore and erase Gregor from their memories. By being isolated, he realized that he has mentally transformed long ago, and his physical transformation was the final stage of his metamorphosis. He has always been, metaphorically, an insect. Like a servant of the powerful Queen Ants of the hive, which is his father, mother and sister. Now that he cannot work, they have completely remove him from them, making him unrelated to them. He then realizes that he’s always had little significance and therefore can now be abandoned. Their rejection towards him, makes him realize that he’s always been the burden.
After he is finally rejected by his sister, he crawls to his room and closes himself off from the others for good. Gregor dies alone and his body is disposed of by the cleaning lady. The family then goes on to nurture without Gregor and it seems as if the family is doing better without Gregor than with him alive.