Relationship Between People In Kafka's The Metamorphosis

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“Metamorphosis” is one of the most representative short stories written by Franz Kafka. The contradiction of character and the complexity of his personality that build the story. The plot of the novel is not a fairy tale, the beasts in the fairy tale eventually regain their human form. No one cared what happened to other. No longer bring any financial benefits effect his family abandoned him. The fairy tale disappeared completely, and the ugly face of reality was everywhere. Once human suddenly became a beetle and lost his job, gradually the attitude of the family has changed from dependent, usefulness to aversion which contrast due to the family economics. The traditional patriarchal clan law which maintains the warmth between people has been alienated in modern society to rely mainly on economic ties. In a bourgeois family, once an adult member of the family loses the ability to work and thus breaks off economic relation with the family, that becomes a burden and a redundant member. Finances was the “rope” that held the family together, when the rope was broken, the relationship between family broke down. Metamorphosis have a very effective reflection of the capitalist society.

Finances condition have significant impact on Samsa family’s dynamics. In the absence of an economy, the family is very depressed and their attitude towards Gregor have huge changes. The attitude of the family depends on whether the other can providing them financial benefits. According to the book “The Metamorphosis” It shows that “Inexorably Gregor’s father drove him backward, uttering hissing sounds like a wild man.” (16) This demonstrate that his father has huge reaction after Gregor becomes a beetle. Not only was feels disgusting that his son become a bug, but it was because a beetle couldn’t continue to contribute to whole family and help them for the income. Such a person is just an encumbrance. Things would be different without Gregor’s metamorphosis. In page 9 when his father doesn’t know the truth ““He isn’t well,” Gregor’s mother said to the general manager while his father was still having his say beside the door, “not well at all, take my word for it, sir. Why else would Gregor miss his train! The office is the only thing that boy ever think of. It really bothers me that he never goes out in the evening; he’s been back in the city an entire week now, but he’s spent every last evening at home.” it gives an account of the attitude of the family towards Gregor changed as Gregor’s role in the family changed. When Gregor was the breadwinner and as the only source of income, the family was very concerned about his abnormal behavior. Although father adopting a tougher tone, but still tried to explain for his son. Therefore, when a person goes from the pillar of support to a terminal illness, his family will be very concerned and sympathetic. But after the patient lose all the abilities and the family financial burden becomes heavier, the naturally and complaint will naturally occur. “It has to,” Gregor’s sister cried out, “that’s the only way, Father. You just have to try to let go of the notion that this thing is Gregor. The real disaster is that we believed this for so long. But how could it be Gregor?” (42) this indicate that when a patient becomes the biggest obstacle for a family to start a new life, they may even rejoice in his disappearance. Family could not stand the test and their humanity gradually shrank by all the thing happened.

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We can clearly see that even of the closest family member treat the Gregor with selfishness, indifferent, and cruelty. Metamorphosis shows the relationship between people and the relation of pure interest is too pessimistic and negative for some people. However, it reveals the essence of human being and their living conditions in modern society. Metamorphosis is resistance, in order to escape the alienation (family, company, economic) of society form him. According to “The Metamorphosis” it shows that “As soon as I’ve saved up enough money to pay back what my parent owes him ---- another five or six years ought to be enough--- I’ll most definitely do just that.” (4) this signify passage of Gregor needs to help his family pay back the debt, and he was the “money machine” of the family and the company. No one care about him personally, and he longed to escape from a heavy, oppressive life. We can understand metamorphosis as a man doesn’t accepting such a repressive life, too much depression, sadness, and pressure in life brings metamorphosis. Another example was “For the time being, though, I’ve got to get up, my train leaves at five.” (4) It can be seen that Gregor’s first reaction when he becomes a battle is to worry that he won’t be able to catch the train, he is anxiety buried the fact that he had become a bug. And not even feel bitter for inflicted misfortune, it’s that anxiety turning into worms doesn’t given financially benefit to the family.

Family’s finance change over the course of the story and the structure had change in consequence. The lack of economic value leads to isolation and instant destruction of relationships with family. According to the book “Gregor’s father fetched breakfast for the petty employees at the bank, his mother sacrificed herself for the underclothes of strangers, his ran back and forth behind the shop counter at her customer' behest, but this was all the strength they had.” “Gregor’s mother, gesturing toward his room, would say: “shut the door now, Grete”; and when Gregor was left in the dark.” (34) It reveals that when the family is in financial trouble, they must band together for survive. Those who loses the ability to work will simply be abandoned and thus breaks off economic relation with family. Another example shows that “Without bothering to consider how she might give Gregor particular pleasure, his sister would quickly thrust some randomly chosen foodstuff into his room with her foot on her way to work in the morning or at midday, only to sweep it out again at night with a quick swipe of the broom, paying no heed if the food had been only barely nibbled at or---as was most often the case now---not touched at all.”(34-35) this demonstrate that can no longer maintain the kind of economic contact with the family then the love will no longer exists, the family affection shows the falsity. The rope that held Gregor and his family together was broken, the relationship between family member is also split, even the sister became indifferent. Furthermore, in shows “She had recently blossomed into a beautiful, voluptuous girl. Growing quieter now and communicating with one another almost unconsciously by an exchange of glances, they thought about how it would soon be time to find her a good husband. And when they arrived at their destination, it seemed to them almost a confirmation of their new dreams.” (47) It reveals that Samsa family saw financial value in Grete again. It’s ironic that their children are only useful to them, they can give an economic benefit for them--- “Person” as “objects”. We are likely an object, not human being.

In conclusion, in Kafka work “The Metamorphosis” have well reflects the relationship between people. His most prominent artistic feature shows overall absurdity but shows a lot of things in trues. The relationship between people is indifference, egoism and pure interest. Once a person cannot bring benefit to other and cannot even earn one’s own living, then people will be avoided by it. Even the closest family member. People’s relationship has changed in the face of money, human nature is selfish, they will only care about their interest. Regardless of how much that person has paid, as long there is no more value in the future, they will abandon his, as he is a burden. All the evidence shows finances was the “rope” that held the family together, when the rope was broken, the relationship between family broke down. No economic value can very simple lead to the original happiness family to destroyed.

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Relationship Between People In Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from
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