Family Relationships in "The Metaporphosis"

Family Relationships in The Metamorphosis

Franz Kafka’s, The Metamorphosis (1915) is a short novel that is symbolic of the lives in a dysfunctional family.   Kafka chose a mediocre family, dependent on their only son, for their complete existence.   Gregor Samsa, takes on the image of a worker bee inside the family structure.   In the beginning of this story Gregor wakes up to find himself transformed into a cockroach stuck on his back inside his room.   The cockroach, an insect that has never evolved over time, is an appropriate transition for a man with a boring, repetitive life of waking, going to work, returning home to rest for the same thing the next day.   The “metamorphosis” that occurs in the novel is the change in the relationship between Gregor and the other members of his family.
Gregor, the son in the Samsa family, leads a very boring life.   He seems to have no real existence other than work.   Gregor is the strength in the family because he provides for their needs.   As a young adult, he has no friends or hobbies, his only interests lie in reading the train tables and making money for his family’s support at a mediocre sales job.   When Gregor changes into a cockroach it seems the only differences are his external shell has changed and he now has no way to financially support his family.   Gregor begins this story on his back, unable to roll over to answer his Mother’s wakeup call, he has only little legs that just want to keep moving, but getting him nowhere. (320)     In the Samsa family Gregor is stuck in a rut, his only moves are as useless as the little cockroach legs moving so quickly but going nowhere.   Gregor is frustrated by his changed body and inability to do his job and soon realizes that his body change also changes the relationship with each family member.
Gregor’s mother and father are parasites existing solely on their son.   The parents seem to have minimal communication with Gregor other than to ensure he goes to work each day.   (328)...