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How Gregor’s Physical Transformation Affects The Relationship With His Family

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

Normally, in society houses and family are the most valuable and important things for people as that is a place where they feel the most comfortable and where people learn to give and receive love. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is a short story about a salesman that transforms into a bug. In the story Gregor’s life becomes a complete opposite of how he used to live his regular life. When Gregor’s transformation occurs he realizes he no longer receives the love from his parents and his sister Grete. Gregor becomes an outcast, which leads him into being isolated and alienated from his family. The thesis presented in the story is how overtime Gregor’s physical transformation forces isolation and alienation and affects the relationship with his family. We will analyze this thesis in three different aspects, which is how we can see his relationship with his father, mother and sister changes due to his transformation and eventually kills him.

Firstly, we can see how his relationship with his sister changes and eventually her empathy for Gregor diminishes. After his transformation she thinks that taking care of her brother is now seen as a duty. We can see the physical changes that happen to Gregor throughout the story eventually kills him as he was the closest to his sister. We can see at the beginning of his relationship with his sister change when “his sister no longer gave a second thought now to what might especially please him, but in the morning and at noon before she went to work hurriedly pushed into his room with her foot any food that was available, and in the evening cleared it out again with one sweep of the broom, heedless of whether it had been nibbled at, or – as most frequently happened – left completely untouched”. We can see that his sister is starting to feel like she is losing a connection with her brother due to his physical transformation which is causing him to be alienated from his sister. Furthermore, Grete tells her parents later in the story “My dear parents, said his sister, slapping her hand on the table by the way of introduction. Things can’t go on like this, perhaps you don’t realize that, but I do. I won’t utter my brother’s name in the presence of this creature, and so all I say is: we must try to get rid of it. We’ve tried to look after it and to put up with it as is humanly possible, and I don’t think anyone could reproach us in the slightest”. We can see the frustration Grete has developed throughout Gregor’s transformation and how she does not even want to mention his name as doesn’t believe this creature is her brother. By analyzing this quote, we can see that as time goes with his transformation, he is being isolated from his family due to the changes in their relationship. Throughout the story we can see over time the changes in his sister and how she started by caring and helping him, to then believing her father and losing the connection with her brother which caused him to be isolated from his family.

Secondly, Gregor’s relationship with his father after the transformation was very abusive and Gregor was alienated especially from his father and made Gregor feel isolated from the beginning. Once Gregor became a bug, his father believed that the creature was no longer Gregor or his son. We can see this when Gregor’s death is being announced “you don’t need to worry about how to get rid of that thing in the next room. It’s been taken care of already” (Kafka, 22). Gregor’s dad “who perceived that she was eager to begin describing it all in detail, stopped her with a decisive gesture of his outstretched hand”. This shows the alienation between Gregor and his father where he’s been told that his son has been killed and his father cuts her off and doesn’t seem to care or be affected by the situation. The relationship his father has with him after Gregor’s physical transformation is the main reason he was being isolated from his family. We can also see in the short story where an incident happened where Gregor’s mother fainted, and his father walks in and “It was his father. “What happened” were his words”. Then Grete proceeds to tell her father what happened “Mother fainted, but she’s better now. Gregor’s broken loose. Just what I expected said his father. Just what I’ve been telling you would happen, but you women never listen”. The father always thinks it’s Gregor’s fault and neglects him after his transformation which then influences his mother to do the same thing which results in Gregor being isolated from them.

Thirdly, we will be discussing how his relationship with his mother changed overtime and forced Gregor into being alienated and isolated from his family. We can see at the beginning where his mother was hoping that Gregor would come back but she said ‘doesn’t it look,’ his mother concluded in a low voice — in fact, she had been almost whispering all the time as if to avoid letting Gregor, whose exact whereabouts she did not know, hear even the sounds of her voice, for she was convinced that he could not understand her words — ‘doesn’t it look as if we were showing him, by taking away his furniture, that we have given up hope of his ever getting better and are just thoughtlessly leaving him to himself? I think it would be best to keep his room exactly as it has always been, so that when he comes back to us he will find everything unchanged and be able to forget all the more easily what has happened in the meantime.’  We can see that his mother suggests that Gregor isolates himself in his room until he has become himself again. Throughout the story, we see that his mother loses hope in trying to fix what has happened to her son and eventually neglects him which results in Gregor alienating himself.

To conclude, we can see that as the story developed and the physical changes that were happening to Gregor and the effects it was having on his relationship with his family made him feel alienated from them and society which eventually killed him because we was different. Gregor eventually lost all hopes and felt detached from his family, whether that would be from his abusive father or the loss of hope his sister and mother had in him to return to who he used to be.  

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