Table of contents
- Isolation Theme
- Guilt Theme
- Power Theme
- Vampirism Theme
- Humanity Theme
When Gregor started acting “insect like” his family isolated him from not only them but society. This happens in the second chapter when Gregor started showing his inner, “monstrous vermin.” Since he started acting like that his isolation got worse. Throughout the story his isolation gets worse. While Gregor is in his room the family begins to take away his things and making him less human even in his room. His sister would feed him. His room was dark, dusty, and packed with unwanted things. One of the unwanted things in his room was Gregor. Gregor prefers to eat trash and leftovers. Grete starts to notice that her brother isn’t eating any of the food she brings him. Gregor eventually wants to leave his room but when he does his mom faints and his dad throws an apple at him. Gregor is shoved back into his room where he feels guilt lingering in the air. The isolation pushes Gregor as a person making him keep feeling very guilty over everything he has done wrong in the past.
The guilt theme is shown through the “monstrous vermin.” Gregor holds this theme within the novela. While he believes he has turned into a cockroach when in reality he is still himself, he just is acting super strange all relaying back to the guilt he has built up inside of him. This is due to the fact before he has had thoughts about his sister that are frowned upon. He also has a pornagraphic photo which he can’t leave which reveals that he doesn’t have high respect for women in general and he knows that he shouldn’t have the picture also making him feel guilty. This is shown through how he acts and feels around his family. It is also shown through how his family reacts and sees him. Towards the end of chapter one he starts to embrace his monstrous side, which is different from the beginning of the chapter where Kafka makes him seem very relatable in how he feels. By Gregor letting go of things in his past, he starts letting the guilt he has built up take over him. Towards the end of the novela Gregor dies, in a way his family knew wouldn’t accept, so he decided to give up and let go through dying. He died heartbroken and peacefully.
Gregors father is always trying to regain all the power he had lost to Gregor. He feels that by wearing his old uniform, like the one Gregor wore in the picture from the war that he would feel powerful in his house. Gregor starts to act very different after his father bans him to his room because he can’t stand the sight of his sons problems. His fathers power becomes unruly power that can’t be tamed but his power needs to be taken away from him because to much power is dangerous. To build up his power Gregors dad gets a job so he can start help provide for the family again. Both father and son hold guilt within because they are afraid to face their feelings and the truth. When Gregor tries to leave his room father throughs, “apples” at him which in relate to the “garden of eden” as a reference because it represents that he is passing his son.
Vampirism is shown through Grete who drains Gregor of his humanity throughout the whole novela. At the beginning of the novela Grete is seen playing the violin while her father and brother had their issues. Although, throughout the novela we learn that she is actually the one who has all the power in the family. She brought food to her brother even though she knows that he isn’t eating any of the food. Instead of saying anything to her parents she kept quiet and become lonely. She didn’t try to help her brother at all she lets suffer. The only thing she did for him was let him get worse and worse. If she knew how her brother thought of her it would explain why she left him to feel isolated and alone. She is also the one who suggested that the family isolate Gregor when he started being weird. That showed that Grete is the one who let her brother die in his own guilt so she could feel better.
Gregor lost his humanity before the novela even began and this is represented by his first statement of being a “monstrous vermin.” Gregor progresses throughout the novela guilty and power struggles that he has with his family causes him to totally lose all of his humanity. His mother and sister dehumanized his room by taking out all of his belongings and starting to put all the trash and unwanted items such as him. Milk used to be Gregors favorite drink but when he thinks he became a monstrous vermin he is suddenly repelled by the milk. He is no longer a good and clean person. When Gregor gives into being alone and realizes how horrible his life has become when he dies, after he lets go of his guilt he gains a bit of his humanity back and has a bit of feelings. If he was a “monstrous vermin” he wouldn’t feel anything when he passed but when Gregor dies he feels heartbroken but peaceful.