Decisions of the Samsa in Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” Essay
The short story “The Metamorphosis” is written by Franz Kafka. It revolves around transformation and its significance in human life. The story begins with a salesman, Gregor Samsa. He wakes up to find that he has changed into a monstrous and insect-like creature (Kafka The Metamorphosis 5). He tries to adjust to his new condition and he become a burden to his family. After the metamorphosis, Gregor is unable to work. As a result, his family has to start working again. His younger sister, Grete, becomes his caretaker. The relationships in the family are strained as a result. The father has to resume job to cater for his wife and children. His mother is shocked by the transformation (Kafka The Metamorphosis and Other Stories 45)
In this paper, the author will use Saint Leo’s core values of integrity and community to analyze the decisions made by Samsa family when Gregor changes into bug.The decisions of all the family members will be taken into consideration.
The Reaction of Gregor’s Family from the Perspective of Saint Leo’s Core Values
Saint Leo University is a Catholic based institution that focuses on liberal arts. It serves individuals of all faiths. It promotes life and leadership models that can be used to succeed in a challenging world. It recognizes dignity, value, and gifts of all people. One of the core values of Saint Leo University includes focus on excellence. It values and respects the dignity of members. It fosters a spirit of belonging, unity and interdependence among the members.
The values of Saint Leo University are evident in the decisions taken by Gregor’s family after his metamorphosis. His change is captured vividly by Kafka, who states that “One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug” (The Metamorphosis 1). His transformation makes him feel alienated from humanity. According to Kafka, “As (Gregor) heard his mother’s words, (he) realized that the lack of all immediate human contact…” (The Metamorphosis 54). Previously, he used to work hard to pay off his father’s debts (Kafka Franz Kafka: The Complete Stories 5). It takes him time to realize he can no longer play his role in the family (Kafka The Metamorphosis and Other Stories 47).
His family turns against him as a result of the change. They go against Saint Leo’s core value of embracing all individuals by alienating the young man. They thought the change would bring shame to the family. Grete is the only person who shows pity for Gregor. They had great affection for each other before the transformation. She becomes her caretaker, showing the Saint Leo’s values in her (Kafka The Metamorphosis 6). She is the link between her brother and the other members of the family. She undergoes her own metamorphosis from a girl into a woman. However, her affection dims with time. She starts valuing her job more than his brother (Kafka The Metamorphosis 46).
Gregor’s father is a hopeless and unkind man. He is more concerned with money than his son. After the transformation, he shows no sympathy for him. He throws apples and hurls abuses at Gregor (Kafka The Metamorphosis 10). He is selfish and more concerned with the family’s financial status. Clearly, Saint Leo’s core value of servitude is alien to him.
Gregor’s mother has a very weak personality. She is weak both physically and mentally. She portrays Saint Leo’s community value by working hard to protect her son. According to Kafka, she says that “and isn’t a fact that by removing the furniture we’re showing that we’re giving up all hope of an improvement…?” (The Metamorphosis 53). It shows concern for her son.
To Gregor’s family, money is more important. The family members react variously to his metamorphosis. His sister and mother are more compassionate, but the father is selfish. The core values of Saint Leo University are either present or lacking in their decisions.
Kafka, Franz. Franz Kafka: The Complete Stories. Ed. Nahum Glatzer. New York: Schocken Books Inc., 1995. Print.
The Metamorphosis and Other Stories. Trans. Joyce Crick. Ed. Ritchie Robertson. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.
The Metamorphosis, London: Martino Fine Books, 2009. Print.
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