What Is The Theme Of Survival In Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis

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In Franz Kafka’s short story, The Metamorphosis, the reader peers into the life of the Samsa family, seeing the metamorphosis of not only the hard-working son, but also of his three other family members. Over the course of the 100 years of production of The Metamorphosis, there has been many discussions on what Kafka was trying to convey in his morbid and saddening short story. Many discussions include the idea of humanity, and if Gregor still kept his humanity after transforming into a ‘vermin’, whether Kafka was trying to show the importance of mental illness and depression, and whether or not family is essential to one’s survival. The biggest discussion one can find while researching Kafka’s story, is the question on whether or not Gregor …show more content…
I believe that not only is his life the same in value between when he transforms and when he is human, but his insect life also had the possibility to be better than his human life through Gregor recognizing his newfound free will. Before Gregor’s transformation, Gregor had a terribly sad life. The best way to weigh in Gregor’s cumulative life worth, is to look at the biggest fundamental of his human life, work. Before his metamorphosis, Gregor’s life was solely surrounding the idea of working to pay off his family's debt. He began work at a generally young age, and quickly moved up in his company, becoming a traveling salesman, whom “during his five years’ service Gregor hadn’t been sick even once” (Kafka 6). Although, the reader is not privy to much of Gregor’s life before his transformation, there is much we can infer from it based on what he says, allowing a conclusion that Gregor hates working Although working is seemingly his entire ‘life’ before his transformation, Gregor complains about his work load on multiple …show more content…
One of the biggest physical changes that occurs within The Metamorphosis, is Gregor’s family’s reaction towards him. The only instance we see how Gregor’s family treats him in his human life, is during the first first scenes of the short story, where there are still yet to be aware of the circumstances. In the scene, we see a seemingly ‘normal’ family dynamic, in which all are worried of Gregor’s well-being when he does not go into work that day. Many scholars argue that Gregor’s life is better as a human, because when he turns into an insect, his family treats him with disgust. However, I believe that the way his family treats him is very much the same. In the initial scene, one first assumes that his family is worried for his well-being, yet the reader is aware that his family lives off of Gregor going to work. Is it too implausible to determine that much of his family’s concern has to do with their well-being rather than his? There also seems to be a large gap of detachment, especially with Gregor mother, as he never calls her by name, and speaks of her as separate from himself, unlike how he speaks of his sister. Therefore, we can infer that Gregor’s family life is not the best. In contrast however, at least he is not physically harmed as he is when he is an insect, that is something I can not necessarily argue against. However, mental and emotional abuse, is similar in both instances. As a human,

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