At first glance, the final four pages of Franz Kafka’s novel TheMetamorphosis seem to be meaningless.
This assumption, however, is anything butthe truth. The final four pages, although seeming to be of no importance, serveto show the reader how the Samsa family changes as a result of the maincharacter’s, Gregor Samsa’s, death. The family’s changes are best exemplifiedin two different scenes: the scene at the kitchen table, and the scene on thetrolley. During the scene at the kitchen table, there is a common change amongthe family members: their new willingness to do things independently. Theirbold act of writing “letters of excuse” is a clear example of their newindependence. Prior to Gregor’s death, the family relied completely on Gregor’sfinancial support and had little in terms of responsibilities.Order now
Kafka explainsthis lack of work when he writes, “they Gregor’s parents had formed theconviction that Gregor was set for life in his firm . . . they were sopreoccupied with their immediate troubles that they had lost all considerationfor the future,”(17).
By taking the initiative and writing to their employers,Gregor’s family proves that they no longer depend on Gregor. The scene at the kitchen table proves revealing once again when Mr. Samsa announces that he will fire the cleaning lady (17). By doing so, Mr.
Samsa demonstrates that he has changed and can take responsibility. Grete(Gregor’s sister) and Mrs. Samsa also show that they have changed by notcontesting Mr. Samsa’s decision to fire the cleaning lady.
In retrospect,firing the cleaning lady is an additional step towards change from the past. The second revealing scene is the scene on the trolley. In this scene,Kafka reveals the family’s plans for the future, as well as the significantchanges in Grete. He also emphasizes that leaving the apartment together is”something they the family had not done in months”(58).
Demonstrating againtheir change to independence. Similarly, the family’s plan to buy a “smallerand cheaper apartment” (58) further proves that they have become independent. Kafka’s remarks pertaining to Grete reveal a different kind of change. Duringall of the turmoil involving Gregor, Grete matured both physically and mentally. The thoughts that Grete provokes in the minds of her parents reveal their goodintentions for the future. In conclusion, the last four pages of Kafka’s novel are a vital part ofthe story.
The scene at the kitchen table and the scene on the trolley bothplay important roles in revealing the changes in the Samsa family. The changefrom being completely dependent on Gregor, and the mental and physical changesmade by Grete. All of which were provoked by Gregor’s death. By the end of thenovel, each member of the family is a different person.Category: English .