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 theyexpected while others can just be successful in anything. The true reality isthat regardless of what direction is taken in life a person brings the sameinner self, motivational levels and attitudes. As followers of literature weoften escape our own “reality” and experience life through theimagination of the author’s we read. By doing so, many people find themselvesgaining information about themselves. In Franz Kafka’s”Metamorphosis,” Gregor Samsa’s reality changes indifferently in spiteof his drastic physical changes. Before the Metamorphosis, Gregors lifeconsisted of working and caring for his family.
He led a life of a travelingsalesman, working long hours, which didn’t permit to him living his own”life”. He reflects his own life as “the plague of traveling: theanxieties of changing trains, the irregular, inferior meals, the ever changingfaces, never to be seen again, people with whom one has no chance to befriendly” (Kafka 13). Working to pay off his family’s debt, Gregor neverleft anytime for himself. Kafka himself counterparts this sentiment in a quotetaken from his diaries; “no matter how hard you work that work stilldoesn’t entitle you to loving concern for people.
Instead you’re alone, a totalstranger, a mere object of curiosity” (Pawel 167). So in-depth with hiswork, Gregor becomes unknown to himself and to life. In Gregor’s life he had noroom for anyone other than his family which in the end left him without love orcaring or any other kind of companionship. He worked so industriously for hisfamily that this became his only goal in life. They became so dependent onGregor to support them but did nothing for him in return. Up until now Gregorwas living a life of obligations, he came home every night to an empty hotelroom to ensure his family was taken care of. His parents and “theirdominance thus extends to the system which deprives him of creative life andmarried love” (Eggenschwiler 54). Apparent to everyone, Gregor was nolonger thought of a member of the family but nothing more than a “supportsystem.
” The fact of the matter become, “everyone had grown accustomedto it, his family as much as himself; they took the money gratefully, he gave itwillingly but the act was accompanied by no remarkable effusiveness” (Kafka48). Gregor still “believed he had to provide his family with a pleasant,contented, secure life”(Emrich 149). Before the metamorphosis, Gregor’sexistence was much like it was after it. After being transformed into acockroach Gregor lived in isolation with his family.
In a “dark bedroom, inthe jumble of discarded furniture and filth, monstrous vermin, a grotesque,hidden part of the family”(Eggenschwiler 211). Gregor’s sister was the onlyone who helped poor Gregor, in his time of transformation. She was frightenedbut managed to put her fears aside, she even got angry with others for trying tohelp. Upon his sister taking care of him, the rest of Gregor’s family would notassociate with him.
“No one attempted to understand him, no one, not evenhis sister, imagined that she could understand him”(Kafka 45). Before long,Gregor noticed that through his metamorphosis he had not lost nor gainedanything. “The actual metamorphosis symbolizes a rebellion assertion ofunconscious desires and energies” (Eggenschwiler 203). After themetamorphosis, Gregor’s family undergoes some pretty harsh changes.
For afterthe change, Gregor would not be able to support his family’s lazy asses. He wentto his boss and begged him to “please sir, spare my parent” (Kafka24). Strangely, after what his family put him through he still looked vigorouslyfor a way to help his parents, “his duty was to remain docile and to try tomake things bearable for his family”(Kafka 42). As time passes, Gregorrealizes that his family doesn’t need his help and support and that he isnothing more than a burden to them.
The family never realized the strain thatthe transformation had put Gregor through, and now they have cut off relationsinstead of supporting Gregor they desert him. Even his sister had gotten to thepoint of no longer feeding or cleaning Gregor’s room, she might stop in and givehim a piece of bread but not stay and talk to him. The thing that really got toGregor is the memories of all the things