Essays

Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis

“When he lifted his head a little, he saw his vaulted brown belly, sectioned by arch-shaped ribs, to whose dome the cover, about to slide off completely, could barely cling. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, were waving helplessly before his eyes. ” Gregor Samsa has gone through a metamorphosis. This change has turned Gregor into a “monstrous vermin”. Kafka expresses the anxieties, inner terrors, and cynicism, which fill Gregor’s life, throughout the novel, metamorphosis.

The main theme of the story is the effect of other’s control on a person such as Gregor’s relationship with his family, and how the people around him controlled his life. He realized that he would be his own person when he could escape from his family’s control, even if the only escape was death. Gregor was the most unselfish person in The Metamorphosis. This characteristic shows with his dedication to his work. He was the only family member with a job, believing he was the only one capable of it. His only hobby was fretwork, sitting alone in his room.

His devotion to his work was remarkable. In all of the five years he had worked for his father’s creditor, he had never once been absent. Gregor always tried to help out, and he never asked for anything. He was never understood, nor was he liked or associated with. We already know he had no friends. Also, who ever like him, or thought anything of him, slowly became less and less associated with him and/or had disbelieves in him. His boss even accused him of stealing, just because he wouldn’t open the door.

We see Gregor could not be accepted or understood by the ones that need to understand him most. He died from a lack of love and respect from his family, the ones whom he needed love from the most. Kafka used the constant setting of the Samsa household to show the true repercussions of the metamorphosis. It is here that Gregor is truly dehumanized. No longer can he stand the taste of what used to be his favorite dish. He is reduced to a vermin who feeds on rotted, decaying food and who finds the presence of fresh food repulsing.

The very means by which he sustained himself is not fit for a human, but rather for a dependent beast. After Gregor dies, at the end of the story, his parents notice that his sister has grown up into a beautiful woman and they feel that it is time for her to get married. This means that they used Gregor as the pawn that went out and supported them. Now that his sister is grown up they can force her into marrying a rich man. Then they would be well off for a long time to come. They can now control the daughter like they did Gregor. Grete’s new husband can support the whole family.

Once she is married, she too will then become a pawn, a victim of her parent’s control. It comes to be that a person could die from lack of love and too much control. We see that Gregor’s going through a metamorphosis and changing into a bug, proved to characterize what he was. It shows what his life was about. The bug represents the anxieties, inner terrors, and cynicism. One of the definitions of the word bug is an unexpected defect, fault, flaw, or imperfection. This is what became of Gregor, all because of lack of love, and too much control.

Related posts

Leave a Comment