Metamorphosis


"Metamorphosis" By: Franz Kafka What is reality? Every person has his or her own "reality" or truth of their existence. For some it may be nothing they expected while others can just be successful in anything. The true reality is that regardless of what direction is taken in life a person brings the same inner self, motivational levels and attitudes. As followers of literature we often escape our own "reality" and experience life through the imagination of the author's we read. By doing so, many people find themselves gaining information about themselves. In Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis," Gregor Samsa's reality changes indifferently in spite of his drastic physical changes. Before the Metamorphosis, Gregors life consisted of working and caring for his family. He led a life of a traveling salesman, working long hours, which didn't permit to him living his own "life". He reflects his own life as "the plague of traveling: the anxieties of changing trains, the irregular, inferior meals, the ever changing faces, never to be seen again, people with whom one has no chance to be friendly" (Kafka 13). Working to pay off his family's debt, Gregor never left anytime for himself. Kafka himself counterparts this sentiment in a quote taken from his diaries; "no matter how hard you work that work still doesn't entitle you to loving concern for people. Instead you're alone, a total stranger, a mere object of curiosity" (Pawel 167). So in-depth with his work, Gregor becomes unknown to himself and to life. In Gregor's life he had no room for anyone other than his family which in the end left him without love or caring or any other kind of companionship. He worked so industriously for his family that this became his only goal in life. They became so dependent on Gregor to support them but did nothing for him in return. Up until now Gregor was living a life of obligations, he came home every night to an empty hotel room to ensure his family was taken care of. His parents and "their dominance thus extends to the system which deprives him of creative life and married love" (Eggenschwiler 54). Apparent to everyone, Gregor was no longer thought of a member of the family but nothing more than a "support system." The fact of the matter become, "everyone had grown accustomed to it, his family as much as himself; they took the money gratefully, he gave it willingly but the act was accompanied by no remarkable effusiveness" (Kafka 48). Gregor still "believed he had to provide his family with a pleasant, contented, secure life"(Emrich 149). Before the metamorphosis, Gregor's existence was much like it was after it. After being transformed into a cockroach Gregor lived in isolation with his family. In a "dark bedroom, in the jumble of discarded furniture and filth, monstrous vermin, a grotesque, hidden part of the family"(Eggenschwiler 211). Gregor's sister was the only one who helped poor Gregor, in his time of transformation. She was frightened but managed to put her fears aside, she even got angry with others for trying to help. Upon his sister taking care of him, the rest of Gregor's family would not associate with him. "No one attempted to understand him, no one, not even his sister, imagined that she could understand him"(Kafka 45). Before long, Gregor noticed that through his metamorphosis he had not lost nor gained anything. "The actual metamorphosis symbolizes a rebellion assertion of unconscious desires and energies" (Eggenschwiler 203). After the metamorphosis, Gregor's family undergoes some pretty harsh changes. For after the change, Gregor would not be able to support his family's lazy asses. He went to his boss and begged him to "please sir, spare my parent" (Kafka 24). Strangely, after what his family put him through he still looked vigorously for a way to help his parents, "his duty was to remain docile and to try to make things bearable for his family"(Kafka 42). As time passes, Gregor realizes that his family doesn't need his help and support and that he is nothing more than a burden to them. The family never realized the strain that the transformation had put Gregor through, and now they have cut off relations instead of supporting Gregor they desert him. Even his sister had gotten to the point of no longer feeding or cleaning Gregor's room, she might stop in