Franz Kafkas The Metamorphosis



Franz Kafka hides this new development from his family because he cannot share with them his problems. We read from the book that ‘Gregor wanted to answer in detail and explain everything, but in these circumstances, he confined himself to saying, “Yes, yes, thank you mother. I’m getting up right away.”’ Gregor wants to protect his mother from learning that he has transformed into an insect. He feels alienated that he has to wake up at 4 am. ‘ “This getting up early,” he thought, “makes a man quite idiotic.”’ Yet he labors on for the love of his family. We question why Gregor has transformed. It is the result of Gregor interacting with all aspects of his environment. He tells us his alienation with his work and family. “‘If I didn’t hold back for my parents’ sake, I’d have quit ages ago. I would’ve gone to the boss and told him just what I think from the bottom of my heart. He would’ve fallen right off his desk.’” (Kafka 3) After Gregor transforms, his unemployed family members were forced to transform too and seek work to earn a living. However, these and other changes were insufficient to maintain Gregor. He remained alienated in his bug form. Slowly, even his sister, Grete, isolated herself from him and he elected to starve to death. ‘He remembered his family with deep feelings of love. In this business, his own thought that he had to disappear was, if possible, even more decisive than his sister’s.’ (Kafka 83).