Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is a novel that is primarily centered on the theme of change. Metamorphosing means transforming either in appearance, form, or structure and this is widely observed in the reading. Change is observed on a personal and a societal level. The main character of the story, Gregor Samsa undergoes a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional changes which in turn cause everything around him to transform including his family members (Kohzadi, Nouri, and Azizmohamadi 1). The change in The Metamorphosis is also metaphorical as the title reflects multiple events throughout the development of the plot. This paper broadly discusses the theme of change in Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.
To start with Gregor undergoes a physical change. Kafka begins by writing that “One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug” (Kafka 1). This change turns out to be just the main drive, which causes plenty of changes in his inner and outside world. The Metamorphosis manages a ridiculous, or uncontrollably unreasonable, occasion, which in itself recommends that the story works in an arbitrary, riotous universe. The silly occasion is Gregor’s awakening to find he has transformed into a monster creepy-crawly, and since it’s so a long ways past the limits of a characteristic event-it’s not only far-fetched to occur, it’s physically unthinkable-Gregor’s transformation takes on an unearthly significance.
Additionally outstanding is the way that the story never clarifies Gregor’s change. It never suggests, for example, that Gregor’s change is the consequence of a specific reason, for example, discipline for some misconduct. In actuality, by all proof Gregor has been a decent child and sibling, taking a vocation he disdains with the goal that he can accommodate them and intending to pay for his sister to ponder music at the center ((Kohzadi, Nouri, and Azizmohamadi 3). Gregor, who devoted his life to his folks and sister was utilized by them. He thought about them and put their interests behind his ones. He worked in the activity he didn’t care to acquire cash to help his family. Throughout his work stresses, Gregor thought of leaving his work but was pulled back as he kept saying to himself, “I am concerned about my parents and my sister” (Kafka 20).
The characters are bizarrely quiet and unquestioning, and most don’t act especially astounded by the occasion. The eminent exemption is the Samsas’ first servant, who asks to be terminated. Indeed, different characters in the story by and large treat the transformation as something bizarre and sickening, but not extraordinarily shocking or unthinkable, and they, for the most part, concentrating on adjusting to it instead of escaping from Gregor or attempting to fix him (Corngold 143). Gregor’s family, for instance, doesn’t search out any assistance or counsel, and they seem to feel more embarrassed and sickened than stunned. Their subsequent house employee likewise demonstrates nothing startling when she finds Gregor, in addition to when the invitees remaining with the household members observe Gregor, they are generally infuriated that Gregor is impure and irritates the mood of appeal they lack in the house.
Moreover, change is visible as Gregor’s mind and body disconnects. As Gregor ends up acclimated with his new body, his mind starts to change as per his physical needs and wants. However, he’s always unable to completely bring his brain and body into an agreement. Gregor deliberately carries on more and more like a bug, not just yearning unexpected foods in comparison to what he fed on when he was normal. Moreover, he began to incline toward tight, dim settings, for example, the zones beneath his couch. Hel also adopted new movements especially, creeping on the walls and roof. As Kafka writes, Gregor had “acquired the habit of crawling back and forth across the walls and ceiling” (Kafka 41).
Nevertheless, Gregor’s humanity never vanishes altogether, and he feels tangled accordingly. This dispute was at its top when Grete and his mother relocated the furniture out of Gregor’s chamber. Gregor at originally recognized the thought as it would make his room more suitable for him substantially. Without furniture, he’ll have the option to slither anyplace he satisfies. Be that as it may, understanding that his assets, which speak to him his previous life as a human, give him passionate solace, he all of a sudden faces a decision: he can be physically agreeable or sincerely agreeable, yet not both (Corngold 156). As it were, his psyche and body stay contradicted to each other. Gregor, incapable to give up his humankind, picks enthusiastic solace, driving him to frantically stick to the image of the lady in hides.
Gregor’s family also encounters change following his transformation. After Gregor’s transformation, his relatives battle with sentiments of both compassion and repugnance toward him. Grete and the mother specifically feel a lot of compassion toward Gregor after his change, obviously because they presume some part of his humankind stays in spite of his appearance (Corngold 160). This care drives Grete initially to take up the responsibility of his guardian-she even endeavors to such an extreme as to try finding what sustenance he prefers after the transformation-and it drives the mother to fight with Grete over moving the tables out of Gregor’s room since she expects that he will change back to his human form. Without a doubt, even the dad, who exhibits minimal empathy of the relatives toward Gregor and even attacks him twice, never endorses that they execute him or chase him out of the family. Reasonably, he verifiably demonstrates sympathy for his son by supporting the family to consider him.
Finally, although the burdens brought about by Gregor’s metamorphosis wear out the kin’s kind-heartedness, and even the most resenting of them discovers that their sympathy has an utmost. One of those triggers of stress is Gregor’s form. Grete is so bothered and sickened by how he appears that she can hardly persist to be in the live with him. Gregor’s mom is speechless and when she considers him to be she and Grete are moving his furniture that she passes out. Furthermore, Gregor’s quality is always remembered in the house, making the relatives feel continually awkward and driving them to address each other generally in murmurs (Henson 66). In addition, the way that Gregor can’t express his contemplations and views to the family leaves them without any memory of his human nature, and thusly, they increasingly see him more like a real bug. Every one of these components joined relentlessly neutralize their compassion, and the family arrives at a point where Gregor’s essence is an excessive amount to manage. Basically, it is Grete, the character to show the most empathy for Gregor, who influences other family members to dispose of him.
Corngold, Stanley. Franz Kafka: The Necessity of Form. Cornell University Press (2018): 137-289.
Henson, George. “The Metamorphosis.” World Literature Today 89.1 (2015): 66.
Kafka, Franz. “The Metamorphosis” Leipzig: Verlag (1915): 2-77.
Kohzadi, Hamedreza., Nouri, Mahboubeh., and Azizmohamadi, Fatemeh. “A study of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.” ResearchGate (2012): 1-7.