Friday, January 20, 2017
Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis gets its namesake not only from the physical metamorphosis of Gregor from human to dung beetle, but also from less evident metamorphosis of the people and world around him. The prime example of this external metamorphosis is the feelings of his family. This metamorphosis happens even before Gregor is transformed into a dung beetle. He is forced to work as a salesman against his will because he needs to repay the debt that his father has accrued. From the moment he takes that job onward, his family sees him as less of a human and more of a tool or creature under their command. His father even lies to him about their finances so that Gregor works harder at his job, even though this would mean Gregor has to spend more time doing something that he hates. Despite all of this, Gregor remains loyal to his family even after his metamorphosis. He is happy to find his family has been holding back money, so that they can pay for living without his financial support. The actual metamorphosis of his family occurs more in Gregor's mind than in the actual family. By the end of the novella, Gregor realizes that his family thinks of him as a bug and does not care for him anymore. His last act is to selflessly die in resignation.