Bla Bla Bla Essay, Research Paper
In German, the word Kafka uses to describe Gregor Samsa’s transformation is ungezieter, which is a word used by the Germans during his lifetime in reference to the Jews. The literal English translation is “monstrous vermin.” Kafka uses Gregor’s family to show how inhumane society can be. In The Metamorphosis, Kafka uses his experiences to create much of Gregor’s life. He indicates that Gregor’s family only saw him as a means of survival before the change and took advantage of him. After the change
he family is unable to communicate with him because they are blinded by his outer appearance. Kafka’s life of alienation directly relate to his development of Gregor Samsa, the outcast son who Kafka symbolically turns into a huge, repulsive creature.
Kafka pulls much of his personal experience into the writing of this book. Kafka was a German-speaking Jew in a society where Jews were oppressed. He pulls this into the writing of the book showing Gregor’s employer expecting more of him because he is a Jew. The company does not trust him, even though he has not missed a day of work in five years, and a chief clerk comes to check on him . Had this been a German employee, the company would not have so quickly questioned his absence.
Kafka also had a rough time dealing with his family because he renounced his Jewish heritage and did not live up to the expectations of his domineering father. Kafka implies that Gregor’s father to father feels the same way about Gregor’s life. Gregor’s father had hostile intentions when he saw Gregor transformed for the first time, but then only wept, conveying his disappointment in his son (20). Gregor never mentions a friend or someone outside his family or work that he must explain his predicam
t to once he morphs into the hideous bug. Kafka had a booming social life, but did not build any lasting relationships during his life time outside of his family. These two similarities show the personal experience Kafka tied into the character of Greor Samsa.
Before Gregor is transformed into the creature, he only the “bread-winner” for his family. Like a work horse he was only there to serve a purpose, to pay the bills. His family alienated him from their lives before the change. Gregor worked hard, kep
to himself, and had minimal communication with them because of his long work hours. This is what they came to expect and never tried to change it to included Gregor in the family. When the change takes place, the family is more concerned with how they will survive financially than with Gregor’s well-being (28).
Lastly, Gregor’s family is so disturbed by Gregor’s appearance that they cannot find a way to communicate with him. His family has no idea what to do. Gregor might have slowly been transforming, but they did not notice because they did not care until he could not provide for them. At first they seem to be able to connect the gruesome appearance of the bug with Gregor, but when they can no longer understand him, they cannot fathom that it is their Gregor. They remove his furniture from his room, taking the last bit of human semblance Gregor had.
When the closest people in Gregor’s life turned against him, surviving as a bug for life became impossible. Kafka used this to illustrate that the world can be a cruel place to live through paralleling his own experiences into Gregor Samsa’s life. Grer was alienated by his family because they only saw his ability to work and provide for him, not his ability to be a caring person. Once Gregor was transformed and his family lost all form of communication with him, they feared him and hoped he would keep to himself. It took Gregor’s transformation to relize his family had always set him apart from their group of three.