The Causes Of Gregor’s Transformation In Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka
The Novel Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is describing a fate that befell a young man by the name Gregor Samsa who experience complete change both external and mental. Gregor before becoming a gigantic insect was a dedicated person and a committed worker despite the anxiety and hatred that he had. When he turned to an insect, he finds himself in a farcical surrounding him but, unluckily, tried to survive in the like human beings and ended up dying in sorrow. He witnessed his father, mother and sister that he once dedicated himself, changing also. Gregor was trapped into the cocoon that the society, family, traveling salesman work and was also a victim of self-imprisonment. This prison that he was in turned him inhuman even prior to the physical change. What are problems or instances caused him to transform?
I believe Gregor Samsa was the architect of the transformation he was to experience. He created circumstances that gradually but eventually led to his mysterious transformation leading to his death in despair. My essay is based on the following instances as illustrated in the set text, Metamorphosis by Frank Kafka.
The first instance is when Gregor he installed himself as the sole breadwinner for his family. He had pocketed enough cash to purchase a high-end apartment for his whole family. Inside the apartment, he sets aside a tiny room smaller than her sister’s. He employed maids, a cook, lived a costly lifestyle with the parents and sister. With time, Samsa could not manage the lifestyle due to registering low returns in the business he was in while his parents still owed Gregor’s boss huge amounts of cash. He speaks to himself saying, “As soon as I’ve saved enough money to pay back my parents’ debts — that should take another five or six years — I’ll does it for sure.” Speculating such a number of years remaining yet he had served half a decade without a single break. It strained Gregor and forced him to change. He turned himself into a working machine that does not need to rest or have time for others. The demands by the lavish lifestyle pushed him to his transformation.
Secondly, a problem that pushed him to transform was the father. The person he called the father was egocentric, bully, approaching him was hard. Once Gregor secured work in one of the people, he owed money, and was making good money, he stopped working. He added weight and become lazier in the five years that his son was working hard. Often, he lied in his room or on armchair while his son was around or at work place. The only thing his father did was consuming time while perusing different dailies. His father was not a happy father and perceived negatively the way Gregor planned perfectly for them prior his transformation and he did not sense the change that was coming to his son. He became cruel, treating Samsa grossly always pushing him back into the room when Samsa had become an insect. He was ashamed of him. Without revealing to his son, he had saved enough cash to repay the debt he owed. I see him irrational doing that to his son as his son is laboring. The instant Samsa changed to an insect, he started going to work, dressed formally, stood firmly as illustrated, “now, however, he holds himself very erect.” To demonstrate that he cares, he would support his son to fend family needs and settled what he owed. In this way, Samsa would not have ended being a robot. If he had helped Gregor would have been relieved and felt the need to be in touch with others, build social connections, experience the fullness while living but because the father did not care, he forced his son to change.
Another circumstance that drove Gregor to transformation is evident by ingratitude displayed by his parents and sister. Initially, they were amazed and jovial when Gregor brought home the money and put them on the table; and within no time, they got used to the pampering, their reception became plain and expressionless when Samsa came with cash. That sense of gratitude and warm reception would melt Gregor’s heart and could have made Samsa so much alive. Expressionless reception transformed him internally, he felt lonely and withdrawn. Samsa’s mum states that Samsa was not some kind who would hang out in the evenings rather while back at home, he would sit reading, studying the travel timetables, at times doing his own creativity. This indicates the way Samsa lacked friends around while before he transformed. The opportunity to make friends is missing in his schedule and this makes him green when it comes to socializing with people. At the time he changed, parents and sister were not in for the idea of having a bug as one their own blood. He was referred to as ‘’it’’ and they are looking for a way of eliminating ‘’it’’. If family cared, if the mother, father or sister cared, they would have appreciated him and help him transition nicely in society. They would have given him a sense of a family and belonging. He would have been self-fulfilled and eliminate the tendency of him accumulating pride, alienating himself. Lack of which forced him to transform.
The nature of Gregor’s job and the company he is working for also contributed to the transformation that Samsa experienced. It was exhausting. “With the constant travel, the nuisance of making your train connections, the wretched meals are eaten at odd hours, and the casual acquaintances you meet only in passing, never to see again, never to become intimate friends. To hell with it all”. As much as the job involves more travel that might have impacted him negatively, it reveals a weakness that Samsa had. He fails to keep customers and thus the strain in pursuing new customers that might have clutched him at the change point. It would have been normal straining first one or two years before he builds a fleet of regular customers but his weakness of not building strong customer relations is preparing him for transformation that he experienced. He is up early; closed leads faster and went to his room in the restaurant while fellow salespersons were not yet done with their breakfast. He is treated with malice in the workplace and forced to be present every single day. “The insignificant failure to appear instantly provoked the deepest suspicion!”. The way his boss assumed his position in the high office chair and requiring them to speak louder is a thorn in the toe for Gregor. The picture created by the author is of Samsa hating on his work. He could not leave his job because he had bills to pay and a debt to repay. He feared his dad also who appeared like a general to him. His pride would not let him. This made him a slave in his own skin. He detested in his own blood doing something he did not like doing. This clinging to a stressful work environment and an exhausting nature of the job might have culminated to the change that Gregor experienced.
Gregor Samsa triggered the unfolding scenarios that lead to the shocking change. The parents, sister, the job aided change by speeding it up. The rigid nature he possessed made it hard for him to seek help, adopt changes or become aware of the sickness that was before him. If he cared less about the money or the rank, the sad predicament would have been avoided.
- Franz Kafka. “The Metamorphosis” Literature an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama- ninth edition. Kennedy, X. J., and Gioia, Dana. Pearson Longman, 2005.
- Hai-zhu, Qiao. ‘The unique perspective, true feelings — Multiple perspectives to interpret Kafka’ Metamorphosis’.’ Journal of Nanchang College of Education 5 (2013): 11-19
- McMichael, Anthony J. ‘Prisoners of the proximate: loosening the constraints on epidemiology in an age of change.’ American journal of epidemiology 149.10 (2009): 887-897.
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The Novel Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is describing a fate that befell a young man by the name Gregor Samsa who experience complete change both external and mental. Gregor before […]