Saturday, January 21, 2017

Gregor's job in The Metamorphosis

In our class discussions this week, my group was assigned to find quotes on Gregor's job. As a traveling salesman, Gregor is never in one place. This prevents him from forming true and meaningful relationships with people and leaves him feeling empty inside. Gregor is seen by his family as more of an economic resource or "tool" like Rickeia mentioned in class. Instead of his family caring about his emotional stability and health, they worry about his inability to provide for them. This results in the resentment and disregard the family feels towards Gregor once he turns into a beetle; this forces the family, specifically the sister and father, to go out and get jobs which they  never had to do before. I think it's a significant point to notice that Gregor was the provider for the family, not his father, initially. Stereotypes often expect the oldest male of the house to be the breadwinner, but that is not the case in this novella.

4 comments:

Rickeia Coleman said...

Gregor was used in both his home life and his work life. At work, Gregor was seen as a cog in a machine whose only purpose was to make money for the business. This is seen by the director's an the clerk's blatant disregard for Gregor's personal welfare when he doesn't arrive at work even though he is only an hour late. The clerk even tells Gregor to set aside his illness and come to work immediately. And as Brooke said his family only saw him as a means of making money. Once he turned into a bug and couldn't do that anymore, he was useless to them. Textual evidence suggest that his relationship with his family members such as his father weren't meaningful and we discovered that the Dad might have been beating Gregor before the metamorphosis. In the end Gregor dies as the ultimate sacrifice for his family and again his sacrifice goes unnoticed in a way because they don't realize Gregor actively chose to end his life for them.

Joseph Martin said...

Gregor's job is the central figure of his life, before and after the metamorphosis. Initially, his family appears to give him affection because he provides all the money they need to survive, but after Gregor does not leave for his job, everyone becomes suspicious of him. It is very odd for an employer to show up at your door with one of the chief officials if you are one hour late to work. Normally, they would wait a while and find other means to find out what is going on. This shows the distrust of Gregor's employers. This distrust is also evident in his family. They all listen in on him from different rooms in the house and his sister even cries when he says he cannot leave the room. This can be seen as real emotion, but in reality, this act probably means she was worried about her own interest. To prove this point, the mother acts concerned and asks to quickly grab a doctor and a locksmith, but neither of them ever show up. This shows the fake concern that his family nonchalantly directs towards Gregor. Gregor is too naive and caring about his family to notice it is fake till the very end of his life.

Julia Scofield said...

I also feel like it is important to point out that Gregors dad does get a job once Gregor becomes a beetle. This suggests to me that he was actually able to get a job the whole time, and just used Gregor. This put unnecessary pressure on Gregor which would have added to the strain in their relationship.

Savannah Watermeier said...

I think the stereotypes point is very interesting. His father is kind of a failure in terms of providing for his family. Instead his family makes Gregor get a job so he can be lazy. I also agree with Joseph's and Rickeia's comment. Gregor was used as a tool and was only liked because he was the provider. When they start listening, they stop trusting him all because he cannot work. I think his family sucks and they need to be nicer to him.