Metamorphosis A Movie Essay, Research Paper
Metamorphosis, written by Franz Kafka, is a story that deals with the transformation of a human being, Gregor Samsa, into a giant bug. Whether this transformation is a literal transformation, or a transformation only in the mind of Gregor, is a mystery to the reader. Even if the transformation is the main element in the story, there are other themes that arise from the story. One of those themes could be considered as a moral of the story. That moral of the story could be that some humans, in this case Gregor, try to help others before helping themselves. The moral of the story could be that before trying to help others in their lives, people should first help themselves, otherwise those who help are going to be taken advantage of and at the end they will be left with nothing.
Gregor is a good example of this moral of the story because he always looking out for his family, and always helping them out. One example of a sacrifice that he makes is when Gregor works in a company where his parents have a very high debt, and Gregor works there in order to pay the debt. In his mind he admits, If I didn t hold back for my parents sake, I would have quit long ago (4). From this quote it is obvious that while trying to make his parents happy, Gregor has to live a sad live were he is not happy with what he is and what he does for a living. Even in the company he has been able to move up the position ladder at a fast rate, he is not happy. What Gregor looks forward to in the job is the opportunity that once [he s] gotten the money together to pay off [his] parents debts (4) he would quit working at that company for good.
Even if Gregor makes a sacrifice to save his family by paying what they owe, they are not grateful for what he does. As he explains at the beginning they would thank Gregor with warmth for helping the family out. But as time went by they had just gotten used to it, gotten used to it the money was received with thanks and given with pleasure, but no special feeling of warmth went with it anymore (27). The family no longer saw the sacrifice that he was making, later as they got used to being helped they saw the help he was giving as a duty. The father of the family stopped working after Gregor started helping them out, so all the income only came from Gregor.
When he became a traveler salesman, he stopped having a social life. What he did in his spare time was that he read the time s table, so that he would not be late for his next trip. Little by little Gregor started loosing connection with other people at the social level. His only interest was to help his family, without thinking of himself. Gregor felt that he had no right to think of his future until after he had gotten his parents out of trouble.
The ironic thing in this story is that after Gregor found himself into a giant bug, his family was not there to help him out. In a way it was his family s obligation to help Gregor out in his situation. But the only thing that the family did was to isolate him from the rest of the world and from his own family. At the beginning stages of the transformation his sister was the only one willing to help him out by feeding him and cleaning his room. But that too changed as his sister Grete changed. She no longer helped Gregor out, and at the end of the story it is she who stops referring to Gregor as a who. It has to go (52), is what Grete tells her parents. It his the person Gregor loved the most and the person he wanted to help out the most, by sending her to the conservatory, who turns her back on Gregor.
After the death of Gregor, the family instead of being upset or sad by the news, they feel a relief. The feel a happiness they had not felt in a long time. Even if Gregor had given them his best years they were still not grateful to him. They had felt him as a burden they had gotten rid of.
So the moral of the story is that if you want to help others with their problems, it s a good thing to do. But first you must help yourself, and do not let those you are helping depend too much on you. Because there will come a point where they will no longer be grateful, and if you have problems they may not help you out.