Changing Familial Structure in Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

946 Words 4 Pages
In Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, change is rampant throughout the novel. The social, emotional and physical changes affect all the characters. After his transformation, Gregor’s attitude towards his family shifts from adoration and sacrifice to the acknowledgement that his family no longer cares for him. The Samsa’s blatant dislike of Gregor’s new physical condition is met with feelings of guilt and a need to be loved. He becomes a creature of great disappointment and sullenness, not helped by his parents’ obvious resentment towards him. Although he is a bug, Gregor continues to maintain his guardian-like position over the family. Gregor, although his family refuses to directly associate with him, focuses his entire existence on …show more content…
Gregor’s declining health mirrors his weakening ties to his family. His relationship with his father especially deteriorates. After his encounter with the renters, “the apple remained embedded in his flesh . . . it seemed to remind his father that Gregor was a member of the family” (Kafka 38). Not only is his strength suffering, but his father no longer sees him as the responsible, supporting son he used to be. He views him solely as the cause of the misfortune that has befallen their family. “Gregor had lost some of his mobility, probably for good” (Kafka 38). This symbolizes Gregor’s permanent disconnect with his family. They relinquish all love for him, and take care of him simply because “it was the commandment of family duty” (Kafka 38) to do so. Gregor remarks that “it takes long, long minutes to get across his room” (Kafka, 38). His slowness and stagnation parallels his life. He hardly has anything with which to entertain himself since his family refuses to have anything to do with him, thus resulting in a slow-paced, monotonous lifestyle. Just as Gregor himself eventually dies slowly, his relationship with his family suffers a slow, painful death as well. Although Gregor and his family used to be complaisant, even Grete now resents him for leaving her with all the responsibilities of the household. Gregor acted as the sole bread-winner for the Samsas, making it a cruel surprise when he was unable to work. Mr. Samsa was forced to return to work, thus

Related Documents