Kafka Paper

This essay has a total of 1716 words and 6 pages.

kafka


Mistreatment from the 1800's is Still Reflected in Modern Day Society


"The father's explanations were to some extent the first pleasant news that Gregor got to
hear since his imprisonment." (p. 1654) In the story The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka,
the character Gregor undergoes a metamorphosis into an insect and experiences what it's
like to feel imprisoned and mistreated within his own home. Throughout the story he
continuously is mistreated by his family and sadly still reflects modern day families and
society.

Gregor family consisted of his father, his mother and his sister Grete. Before Gregor had
turn into an insect he was the main provider of income and covered all expenditures for
his family. Gregor was the only person that worked in his family and was a traveling
salesman. Therefore, his parents and sister stayed at home and did nothing while Gregor
worked everyday. Kafka describes Gregor's father as having an "…unsuccessful life" and
"he had grown very fat, becoming rather clumsy."(p. 1655). His father at one point owned
his own business but it had collapsed five years earlier from the day of Gregors
transformation. However his father still remained to have a strong sense for business. His
mother was lazy and found to be less intelligent then the rest of the family. She also was
not working. Kafka states,

And perhaps the old mother go to work-she, who suffered from asthma, who found it
strenuous just walking through the apartment, and who spent every other day on the sofa
grasping for air by the open window? (p.1655).

His sister was seventeen, kind to Gregor, beautiful, and musical. She played the violin.
Grete soon took over as head of the house hold when Gregor turned into an insect.

With Gregor's transformation thus brings about the problem of who's going to now provide
for the family. This problem then brings upon mistreatment towards Gregor. Many times
throughout the story he is forgotten about, attacked, and made to feel dehumanized and no
longer apart of the family. In the beginning of his transformation Grete is the only one
who takes care of Gregor. She feeds him twice a day and tries to make sure his food is of
his liking. His mother in the beginning seems to still care for him but however, cannot
bear to look at him or enter the room. The father has no part in his life what so ever and
seems to discourage his wife and daughter from entering Gregor's room however does nothing
to harm him just yet. Overtime these feeling tend to change as times become harder. Grete
soon finds herself overwhelmed with working and being in charge of the household that she
then starts to forget about Gregor and eventually stops feeding him all together. The
father becomes more irritable towards Gregor because he is old and now has to begin
working again. He feels this way because he has resentment towards his son and feels that
it is his fault that he has transformed and can no longer work. At one point in time he
attacks Gregor after coming home from work and finding Grete and his wife upset. Without
asking what went wrong he assumes it Gregor's fault and tries to kill his own son! His
father does this first by trying to crush him with his boots and when he finds himself to
be tired he then starts to throw apples at him. His father then finally succeeds and hit
Gregor in the back with an apple. He was only harmed but if he mother did not step in to
stop his father there is no doubt his father would have killed him. This however is not
the sad part. His father hit him with the apple so hard that it pierced his skin, and
stuck into his body. It then stayed like this for over a month because no one in his
family cared enough to help heal the damage they had done to their son/brother. Kafka
writes "Gregor's serious injury, from which he suffered for over a month (since no one had
the nerve to remove the apple, it stayed lodged in his flesh as a visible memento)…"
(p.1661). In the end before Gregor took his life his family became withdrawn and gave up
on him all together. They no longer feed him or visited him. They took everything that
belonged to him and that he cherished from his room. He then was left in loneliness and
bare walls. It was like he no longer existed.

I found Gregor's family to be very selfish and heartless. Throughout the entire story his
parents and sister only thought about what was best for them and did not take into
consideration of Gregor's needs. I find them selfish also because they wanted Gregor to do
all the work and when he was no long able to his family then had to find jobs they became
angry towards him and complained about how hard they had to work. When Gregor worked he
never was angry towards his family he only wanted to help them as much as he could. Even
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