The story of The Metamorphosis is one that is very subtle and very delicate. Kafka wrote in a fashion that would allow a reader to interpret the story in away that may be different each time it is read.
From the beginning, we seethat a young, hard working, man, Gregor, has turned into a bug, and as thestory continues, one can see that he was much more than an insect. What elsecould he be? Even after his death, it is obvious that Gregor was there for acause. His family depended on him for their happiness. The purpose for hisexistence was to serve his family. His mother and father created him and werethe driving force behind his physical change. There was a lack ofcommunication that existed throughout the story that revealed how unappreciatedthey were of Gregor and his sister, who was on her way towards becoming likeher brother.
Gregor was very important to the family’s welfare. At first he was theonly working member of the family, and his job was very important; the wholefuture of Gregor and his family depended on it (p. 84). For so long he wantedto quit his work, because he wasn’t happy with it. But he said to himself, “Besides, I have to provide for my parents and my sister. (pp.
82-83). ” He feltthat his family was too dependent of him. When Gregor wouldnt let anyone in hisroom in fear that they would be horrified by his condition, he thought that hisfamily was harassing him because he was in danger of losing his job, andbecause the chief would begin harassing his parents again for the old debts” (p. 76). At this point, everyone was angry and wanted him to get up for work. All that mattered to the family was what Gregor was able to provide.
After his secret of change to an insect was discovered, they realized that hewas no longer of any use to the family, and he was unappreciated in every way. He didn’t have his job and no longer had anything to offer. “The house soonstarted to fall apart; the household was reduced more and more “(p. 113). Gregor was now a problem for he had no function in the family. They locked himup, imprisoning him by not allowing him out of his room.
Slowly, hispossessions were removed, and for some time no one bothered to clean his room,the cleaning of his room could not have been more hastily done. “Streaks ofdirt stretched along the walls, here and there lay balls of dust and filth. ” (pp. 114-115). Anything that was not needed for the moment was simply thrown intoGregors room. They couldn’t see beyond the obvious.
To them he was only a bugand not Gregor. For this reason, they simply did not show him the respect thathe deserved. Understanding Gregor was something that his parents failed to do. Evenbefore his metamorphosis, there was a communication problem within the family. When Gregor first speaks to answer his mother, he didn’t recognize his ownvoice. Kafka explains: “Gregor had a shock as he heard his own voice answeringhers, unmistakably his own voice, it was true, but with a persistent horribletwittering squeak behind it like an undertone, that left the words in theirclear shape only for the first moment and then rose up reverberating round themto destroy their sense, so that one could not be sure one had heard themrightly” (p.
70). As awful as he sounded, his mother did not recognize thedifference in his voice, suggesting that they didn’t speak often. Nothing changed after his metamorphosis, however, and the familycontinued to misunderstand Gregor. They failed to realize that, even as a bug,Gregor was still there and that he could understand everything they had to say. Many times he tried to show his loyalty, “but the more humbly he bent his headhis father only stamped on the floor the more loudly (p. 86).
” His sister, whomGregor trusted most, even tried to convince his parents that Gregor is nolonger with them. “My dear parents, she said, things cant go on like this. Iwont utter my brothers same in the presence of this creature, and so all I sayis: we must try to get rid of it (p. 124).” Gregor was not to be accepted forwho he .