Get help now
  • Pages 5
  • Words 1219
  • Views 6
  • Rosalyn
    Verified writer
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • 4.7/5
    Delivery result 4 hours
    Customers reviews 547
    Hire Writer
    +123 relevant experts are online

    The Impact of Gregor’s Life on the Samsa Family in The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

    Academic anxiety?

    Get original paper in 3 hours and nail the task

    Get help now

    124 experts online

    In The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka, Gregor Samsa is a regular guy, he goes to work, he supports his family, and he doesn’t complain. That is until he wakes up one morning and finds himself turned into a human sized cockroach. His whole life gets flipped around and his family doesn’t want much to do with him at all.

    His sister, Grete, is the only one who gives him the time of day, even though she is repulsed by the insect living in her brothers’ room. Because Gregor was the only one to bring in income, the family takes up jobs to support themselves, since he is no longer capable of going to work. In most ways, the Samsa family experiences a greater metamorphosis than Gregor himself, because even though he is turned into a bug, the family has to get jobs, the young sister has to mature quickly and the family has to take on roommates to earn more money.

    Gregor’s days as a bug are anything but lively. He sits alone in his room, sometimes walking around on the ceiling, but for the most part he lays under a couch with a blanket to hide him. He doesn’t do much, which for him is a change. Grete comes in every day to give him food and to tidy the room a little. When Gregor was still human, Grete was lazy and slept in until mid-day. Now, Grete has a job and takes it upon herself to feed Gregor and keep his room tidy, it’s something she prides herself with.

    Susanne Klingenstein says in her critical “his mother and sister gradually transform the outfit of his cell from a human bedroom into the habitat of an animal”. The two take most of the furniture out of his room to give him more crawl space so he’s not confined to one corner. Gregor is, of course, grateful for the extra room, but it tells us that he is becoming more insect-like and less human. In the beginning of the novel, Grete sees the insect as her brother, but she starts to become disgusted by the creature and stops going into the room all together. Klingenstein later says, “They no longer relate to Gregor individually (as sister, mother, and father), but react to him only as a group. They no longer see in Gregor a transformed family member, but primarily an animal”.

    Although Grete once took care of her brother while he could not, she now sees him as nothing more than a dirty insect living in her brothers’ room. It goes to show that she had completely changed from someone who never did anything productive and slept in until noon, to a caretaker and then to someone who wanted the nuisance gone.

    The Samsa family has been unemployed ever since Mr. Samsa’s business had failed. Since then, Gregor had to step up and provide for the family as the main source of income. When the family discovers that Gregor has turned into a bug, they realize that they have no way to pay the bills, therefore they all take up jobs. In The Metamorphosis, the narrator describes the jobs of Gregor’s mother and sister, “his mother, sitting well forward under the lamp, sewed fine linen for some haberdashery; his sister, who had taken a job as salesgirl, studied stenography and French in the evenings, in the hope of perhaps one day getting a better job” (Kafka 1225).

    His mother, who has severe asthma, therefore a job is more difficult for her than the average person, but she still finds a way to flip it around and make it work. And the sister who, again, was a lazy teenager, takes on a job that is very hands on a tiresome to her. The father, who hadn’t worked in five years (1218) never took off his uniform, he slept in his arm chair “as though ready at all times to be of service, even here, for the voice of his superior” (1225). His family, who were accustomed to barely lifting a finger, who had maids to clean the house and who only had to worry about cooking meals, had to go out and get jobs to support themselves and they find out how tiring it is to be a full time worker.

    Another big change that the family went through is the biggest one yet. The family had to get used to living with a giant cockroach and not with Gregor, their son and brother. Although the family came to the conclusion that the cockroach was indeed Gregor, they still felt a little mourning for their son that they would never see again. In fact, the family almost wants nothing to do with the insect living in their house, but they do feel bad for wanting to get rid of him because they know it’s their son.

    Part two ends, like part one, with Gregor breaking forth from his room and his father driving him back. But instead of shooing Gregor back as before with the help of a stick and a newspaper, the father now pelts him with apples. One of them gets stuck in Gregor’s back and becomes a festering wound. (Klingenstein)

    No one in the family cares to take the apple out of Gregor’s back, they just let it embed there and immobilize him. The family, in a matter of months, go from seeing Gregor as a member of the family, to something that was not their son and just a giant cockroach in their home. They now grow angry with the insect and want nothing to do with it and when Gregor scares the tenants in the kitchen, Grete decides that it’s time they need to get rid of Gregor once and for all and they can’t keep letting him rule their lives. “I don’t want to speak the name of my brother within the hearing of that monster…we have to try to get rid of it…I don’t think anyone can reproach us for any measure we have taken or failed to take” (Kafka 1231).

    Gregor dies that night, almost as if it were a gift from God himself for the Samsa family. The family, although they mourn for a little, are relieved that the insect is no longer a burden to them and that they can live on peacefully.

    In the end, the Samsa family’s lives are completely turned around when Gregor is turned into a cockroach. Although Gregor had to deal with being an insect for the rest of his life, the family had to adjust to having an insect for a member of their family and then had to deal with not having Gregor bringing in the money for them anymore. Getting jobs was a huge change in their lives as the parents learn how to be in the work force again and as Grete has to mature earlier than expected.

    Changing their views of Gregor’s life as a bug was almost expected in the novel, but it was of huge importance, because since they lived on after Gregor, their whole lives were different from the day he woke up that tragic morning. Gregor’s family experienced a greater metamorphosis than Gregor himself because aspects of their lives changed more greatly than the aspects in Gregor’s life.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

    Need custom essay sample written special for your assignment?

    Choose skilled expert on your subject and get original paper with free plagiarism report

    Order custom paper Without paying upfront

    The Impact of Gregor’s Life on the Samsa Family in The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. (2023, Feb 07). Retrieved from

    We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

    Hi, my name is Amy 👋

    In case you can't find a relevant example, our professional writers are ready to help you write a unique paper. Just talk to our smart assistant Amy and she'll connect you with the best match.

    Get help with your paper