Breaking Down “The Metamorphosis”
Franz Kafka’s beginning of his novel, “The Metamorphosis,” begins with what would seem a climactic moment: “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.” From this point on, the reader is determined to make sense of this transformation. However, the reader later comes to realize that Gregor is actually not an insect, but this metamorphosis into a vermin was purely symbolic. It symbolizes the degrading lifestyle that Gregor leads to support his family. This leads the reader to understand Gregor’s absurd dilemma.
Gregor’s insignificant and outcast lifestyle of supporting his
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Many ideas and thoughts are proven in “The Metamorphosis,” but perhaps none so boldly as the idea that “Intimacy is impossible.” Kafka writes of Gregor, “… often haunted by the idea that the next time the door opened he would take the families’ affairs in hand again just as he used to do.” Gregor, after transforming had to come to terms with the fact that his family’s love was a love based on a responsibility to the family, instead of an unconditional love. Kafka is saying that unconditional does not exist. He is also saying that we all feed off of each other, and our love is an extension of this. When the ability to function as we always had is gone, so is the love we once thought we would have forever. Gregor’s father exhibited a “mulishness that had obsessed his since he became a bank manager.” Gregor’s father not only neglected his son, the son who attempted to provide and take his father’s place as the breadwinner for the family, but also developed a hatred for Gregor. Gregor presented a profound love for his family, which was not reciprocated after Gregor could no longer be of service to them.
Another firm idea that Kafka presents to the reader is that “People live unremembered lives.” This is shown with Kafka’s creation of the father’s disgust for his son, Gregor. The father, forgetting that