Gregor Samsa went through a serious transformation, and when this happened all that was left to see was how would his family react. Of course, this was not the first thing that entered his mind, it was the fact that he could not go to work that day, and he would not be able to help his family with the debt they had what trouble him, and what he first thought about. Through this introduction of his character, when you read the novel, you can see and appreciate, as a reader, what Gregor has done and could do only not to keep disappointing his dad, and give aid to his entire family.
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When he started hearing his family at the other side of the door when he was running a little late to work, he could not move an inch because of the position in which he woke up. The way the author expresses and explains his movements when he is pushing himself to be in his legs, is clearly an example of Gregor always pushing himself to do things he does not want to do, because the simple job that he has (which is only to help his family), as a salesman, he hates it, because he does not have time to have a life. When he is trying so hard to turn over, and be able to walk, he constantly imagines how could his family could come in and help him. Gregor was even willing to sacrifice everything if there was even the slightest hope of getting himself out of bed in the process. He also had the hope, that any member could enter the room, and aid him no matter their reaction, except, this is not what happened.
In the moment Gregor’s family saw him, their reaction was not a warm family’s reaction, but instead, his father harmed him with a cane, a newspaper, and the door. His mom fainted, as she constantly does throughout the story, his sister was already crying at the other side because she did not know what was wrong with Gregor, and his chief just went back and gave him his back. All these reactions, are ways to show how he has been alienated all his life, not accepted, and not even appreciated by his family, or co-workers. The way his dad reacted represents how he constantly rejects him in many ways as possible, the manner in which his mother fainted is just a way to show how she does not do anything to help him, the sister talks and even defends more than his own mother does, and finally, the fact that his chief gave Gregor his back represents how he is never appreciated and accepted, no matter the situation, how much Gregor has put into his work or his past achievements.
When he was rejected so painfully outside, he went back to his room and kept there the entire time. He started to think how he could re-make his entire life now, in this state, and as you can see, Gregor started to finally give a little time for himself and think about his life, now that he was rejected by his family and was in a state as a bug. Therefore, his character shows– through the time that he stayed alone in his room, thinking about how small was his room and how he has been able to live there for a long time, and what he could do now–, how his alienation has made him able to be a side of himself which he has been trying to be for a long time, finally thinking about his good being. Of course, this did not last long because he immediately started thinking about how much of a burden he could become now to his family.
There were nights, where he constantly thought about the burden and the sacrifices he was making his family do, there was this moment when “Gregor went away from the door and threw himself on the cool leather couch beside the door, for he was quite hot from shame and sorrow”, this plays the role of how much sadness and shame he was going through, and always thought about his family, when it came to talking about their need to earn money now with their inability to depend on Gregor. He felt depressed for every little sacrifice each member of his family had to make in order to help him: Grete, Mr. Samsa, and Mrs. Samsa.
When Grete starts bringing food to him, he is already starting to test his thoughts of how much of a burden he has become. When his sister starts bringing in the food, it shows sympathy and consideration to him after his transformation. He even tests many hypotheses and experiments in order to see what type of food Gregor is fond to. However, as time goes by, she starts to lose interest in feeding Gregor, as they do overall. She thought she was wasting her youth and time to do useless acts. There was a point in the story where the family had to bring in lodgers in order to be able to pay the bills, and one day the servant woman left the door open, and he went out to see the family. In this moment, he started to feel resentment to the family, because he saw that while he was starving to death, the lodgers where stuffing with food. These all suggests how the entire family has lost interest and sympathy to Gregor, therefore, the food starts the whole dehumanizing process of his life, and this is the role that it plays.
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When his father starts to work as well, to help the family, even the uniform represents a new role in the family. Gregor questioned his father’s ability to work, since for five years, he started to gain a lot of weight because of no type of exercise or work, but when he sees his dad’s new job, especially in a uniform, his opinion of his father changes. The uniform by itself, symbolizes the father’s dignity, and when he first sees him, he stopped feeling sorry for him, and had a more sense of respect for him now, since, Mr. Samsa was now able to be self-dependent and now through this, he gained self-respect. However, as the story progresses, his father’s image started to look the way it did before, when he saw him laying in the couch every night covered with dirt, completely in contrast, to Gregor’s picture in the living room with his army uniform.
One day, his mom and his sister started to remove all his furniture, because the sister thought it was the best for him, however, his mom did not want to do it, because she thought Gregor would not appreciate this, but her daughter overruled her. As they took his furniture away, he remained hidden under a blanket so he could not be seen by his mother, but he wanted to let a special object stay in his room, the picture of the woman in furs. This picture is a symbol of his former humanity, and the reason he was so attached to this picture was the fact that it has himself who put it in his room when he was human. However, his mom did see him in the wall, therefore, made her faint, the father thought Gregor attacked her, so he started attacking him, which made Gregor feel even more miserable that he already felt, the fact that thought he was more than a burden now to his family, he was now a threat as well.
The fact that his sister and rest of his family let him stay in dust and starve to death, made his dehumanizing process faster, his sorrow deeper, and alienation stronger. The fact that the servant woman, which was brand new to the family, was the only one who helped him through starvation, and the one who found him dead make an even bigger point that the family was completely alienated from Gregor, and no longer felt any sympathy for him. This was even represented when they started considering killing him. Finally, when Gregor dies, when parents noticed his daughter, in how she has blossomed into a woman and proven to be a confirmation of “new dreams and good intentions”, symbolizes the new chapter and journey of the Samsa family. In conclusion, the metamorphosis is a novel filled with symbolism, and imagery which leads us to analyze deeper its meaning and purpose.
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