Bug Transformation In Kafka

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While Gregor’s physical bug transformation seems appalling yet fascinating, what is often neglected and overlooked is how this transformation distorts his relationship between him and Grete. Besides Gregor, Grete is the only other member in the family which is addressed by name throughout the story by Kafka. This shows the importance of Grete herself, foreshadowing an appearance of her own metamorphosis, just as unusual as Gregor’s. Prior to Gregor’s bug transformation, Grete is described as a carefree teenager who lives a wealthy lifestyle that she desires; she is ‘still a child of seventeen [...] whose life hitherto had been so pleasant, consisting as it did in dressing herself nicely, [...] and above all playing the violin’ (P.112). She…show more content…
The mother’s transformation is not as apparent as the father’s, as she is portrayed as a frail and distressed character throughout the story. The father’s change in attitude and behaviour, however, has a more meaningful impact. Gregor’s father first appears in the story as a hopeless and unkind man, concerned primarily with money; a man who is not particularly close to his son, which is particularly apparent when his business failed and he forced Gregor to provide for the family, thus to ‘pay off his debts to the chief’ (P.111). Despite Gregor’s help, the father shows no sympathy for him after he undergoes his metamorphosis; instead he takes advantage of Gregor being incapacitated, and resumes his place as the head of the Samsa household. The father used to be described as ‘an old man, who has not done work for the past five years and could not be expected to do much’ (P.112). Like Grete however, the father gradually goes through his own metamorphosis as a consequence of Gregor’s, and the first signs of this could be seen when he takes on a small post as the bank’s messenger. The post also came with a uniform, which indirectly helped restore Father’s authority and ego: ‘[He] was holding himself very erect, dressed in a tight-fitting blue uniform with gold buttons’ (P.121). This is in contrast with his earlier appearance, where he was described as a ‘man who used to lie wearily sunk in bed [...] who could not really rise to his feet.’ (P.120). As the story proceeds, Gregor’s standing in the family gradually lowers, while Father’s is increased, once again, creating an inversion in position and power. This is shown through the violent acts of the father: he hurts Gregor twice when indirectly interacting with him, first beating Gregor on his back and forcing him to go into his room, and later, throwing an apple at him. This is a reflection of the
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