The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

The first part of this essay describes how the main character of the book ‘The Metamorphosis’ reminds the way in which broken or sick people are treated in society. The next part describes how Gregor’s family treats him.

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Franz Kafka’s ‘ The Metamorphosis’ gives a detailed description of an ordinary man who happened to be the breadwinner of the family, later with a troubled mind turns mad or sick and society’s attitude towards the sick or broken people. Here in this book Gregor Samsa is the living symbol of the broken or sick people; who worked only for his family, and who unfortunately turned into a broken man and later isolated by his family and society. “Gregor provides for his family in the same way as an insect would provide for its nest or hive.” (Fitzgerald). He worked hard to help his family and often provided everything they needed. The realization that his life is like an insect turned him into a broken man; soon lost his job and later became a burden to his family and society.

This is the situation everybody faces in society as nowadays society is indifferent to the feelings and situations of other individuals. Often the sick or broken people become a burden to society, as the people in the society have no time and patience to bother about them. Like Gregor, people work for their family and relatives without considering their own life and time. The realization of their buggy life makes them sick and later they happen to be a burden to their family and society. When he became sick his family was not bothered for him but they were in a hurry to get a job. At first, Grete Samsa showed some concern but later she too was fed up with him. And he was a problem even for the lodgers. People sacrifice themselves for their family but later become isolated from the same family for whom they worked hard.

The story is impressive as it depicts the vital situation of the transformation of a man into an insect, and lying on his back, helplessly waves his little insect legs in the air. (The metamorphosis and Summary & Study Guide). The lack of loyalty, concern, and understanding often leads people in an isolated condition and this makes them sick and disordered. Society or people never show any consideration to those people, who suffer from great diseases, or old people, or drug addicts or homeless. Society never helps them but ill-treat them rudely without any mercy.

Gregor Samsa, the central character of the novel ‘The Metamorphosis’ by Franz Kafka, is a man who is suffering from some mental disorder. The main theme of the novel is alienation and here Gregor is a victim of this alienated life. In this modern life, people become a mere beasts without any feelings towards their fellow beings. Here the protagonist Gregor is a man who is working as a traveling salesman and even though he is not willing, he continues his job for the welfare of his family. Even in his illness, he thinks that he should work for his family. “His parents, Gregor thinks, “we’re suffering enough as it was” (2763).” (The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka). In this novel, Gregor is treated by his fellow beings just like a horse in a farmhouse.

He is alienated in society as there are no friends for him and even his dear father, mother, and sister treat him as a burden for them. One day as his mental state becomes out of order and believes that he just turned into an insect but still he believes that he can go for the job. Lately, he finds out the truth that he is not able to get up from the bed and when he realizes the truth that it is time for losing his job, he becomes more irritated. No one in the house can understand his mind and as a result, they ill-treat him as they find that they are unable to live without money. The financial position of the family improves when all of them get a job. Both father and mother do not give any consideration to him; only his sister gives a little kindness. But later she also is fed up with him. Even the lodgers start treating him cruelly. They even warn the family that this man is a disturbance for them and they will leave the place without giving the rent. The family didn’t think as to why he became sick. They also didn’t think of giving medical treatment for recovery from his ailment. He still believes that once he can go for the job and save his family. “All along, he believes he will be able to work again, that this is a temporary illness, and that life will eventually return to normal.” (The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka).

Gregor is unaware that he is near to his death. Society’s attitude towards the people who are suffering from mental disorders is reflected through Gregor. Even the very beloved parents treat him rudely. “And it was something of a confirmation of their new dreams and good intentions when at the end of their journey their daughter stood up first and stretched her young body.” (Franz Kafka the metamorphosis). The parents and sister of Gregor were going from that place even without his memory.

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References

  1. Fitzgerald, Conor. Analysis of the Metamorphosis by Frank Kafka: Metamorphosis or Realization. AC: Associated Content. 2007.
  2. Franz Kafka the metamorphosis. 2009.
  3. Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Kessinger Publishing. 2004.
  4. The metamorphosis and Summary & Study Guide: The Metamorphosis Introduction. Enotes.com. 2009.
  5. The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka: Interpreting the Transformation of Gregor Samsa and His Family. Suite 101.com: the Genuine Article. 2007.
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