Metamorphosis Essay

This essay has a total of 1135 words and 5 pages.


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
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