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Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" is a story on the subject of the advancement of a family due to the transformation of that family's son from a human to a vermin. From the story, it is evident that social relations between people start to shift when economic conditions shift.
The son, Gregor Samsa, wakes up one morning transformed into a bug with limited communication ability and mobility. "As Gregor Samsa awake one morning from a troubled dream, he found himself changed in his bed to some monstrous kind of vermin" 538. Before this incident Gregor is the source of the family's financial and economic stability. Everything he did was for the interests of the family and he always did what was expected of him. In line of fulfilling the interests of others he forgets his own wants and this is what leads to the loss of his identity. Narrator highlights a situation that portrays how industrious Gregor was; "the next train went at seven; to catch it he must hurry madly, and his collection of samples was not packed" 539.
When the family members realized that Gregor has transformed into a bug, they react differently and handles the transformation differently. Although his parents were shocked by his appearance, they immediately realized that the vermin regressing the room of their son was certainly him. Overwhelmed, the mother dropped her head into her dress and she descended to the ground. The father out of anger clenched his fist preparing to throw back the vermin into the room but there followed heavy sobs when he realized that it was his son.
Roles of the family members changed because of Gregor's transformation. Grete, who was coddled and had no responsibility, has an opportunity to grow. The parents who were ashamed and terrified of the transformed son care less for Gregor. Grete takes to caring for him. She searches for Gregor's new preferences in food and comfort. In a sense she took the role of taking care for her sibling, which was the role of Gregor who took care of her. As she takes care of Gregor she gets used on his conditions and therefore has dominion over what happens to him. She goes ahead to take a small job to help financially which she does in a small way.
Gregor's father has to leave the comfort of the couch. Before Gregor's metamorphosis the family was not yet a patriarchy. The father looked up to his wife for every decision and he spent most of his time reading the daily newspaper. After the transformation of his son the father takes over management of the family financially since there was no source of money. First he begins by acknowledging the leftover money from his disintegrated former business. He gets a job and when he commences work and gets some money he declares himself the leader of the family.
Effects on the mother cannot be categorized easily. She cries after realizing that her son transformed to a bug and she is extremely horrified. She tells her husband that she soon wants to see her son. Seemingly, the mother has relinquished some powers. This is substantiated by her need to request to see her son and her desire to see him when the father was absent for the reason that his response was always negative. Later on, her fear for Gregor grows and she turns to her husband for help. Gregor's transformation has revealed his mother's frailty. His metamorphosis also reveals the mothers Love for the family.
Gregor's change in appearance and his ultimate death brings many changes in the family. We learn of his death when charwoman announces Gregor's death to the rest of the family. "He's lying there, absolutely dead as a doornail"577. The family gets to grow from the individual level and together as one family. At the end of the novel, the mother, the father and their daughter all take a day off from their subsequent lives. They then ride in a trolley into the country while discussing their future prospects. None of these prospects did they conclude was bad. They were now in a reunion as a family in distinction to what they were at the commencement.
Gregor's metamorphosis is the cause of the transformation and rebirth of their family. In the end it is clear that social relations between people shift with economic conditions. However, this theme calls for readers' intellectual consideration when explicating the primary text of the novel. The Metamorphosis commences with what should be its high point. The transformation of the protagonist, mostly the pivot in a fiction narrative, gets put down unceremoniously in the story's initial sentence. No climax, no tension, just boom: Gregor is a bug, and the reader must deal with the consequences of this reality. The rest of the story is about his ineluctable drift into forgetfulness, with very few disclosures.