Change: Theme in the Metamorphosis. A theme paper on the Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka, describing how change is the main theme in the story.

Essay by VanillachocswirlHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 2003

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The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is a novella. The theme in this story is that change in one character leads to positive and negative change in other characters. Gregor Samsa, the main character changes into dung beetle. His change affects his family deeply and they make both positive and negative changes to accommodate both his change and themselves. The family resents Gregor and sees him as a burden, which is a negative change, but previously the family had relied on Gregor as their source of income. This is where the conflict arises because now they have to learn to work for themselves instead of relying on Gregor for income, which is ultimately a great positive change.

The family's initial reaction towards Gregor is largely extremely negative. When the family and the chief clerk, Gregor's boss, see him for the first time they panic. Gregor is promptly shoved back into his room and he is locked there.

"No one came any longer, and, in addition, the keys were now on the outside" (page 25). This represents the family's immediate hostility towards Gregor where as before Gregor's family had always taken care of him. Gregor's sister, Grete decided to at least bring Gregor some food but even then she is still frightened. "...She immediately opened the door again and walked in on tiptoe as if she were visiting a seriously ill person or even a stranger" (page 26). Mrs. Samsa asks to see Gregor but Mr. Samsa and Grete stop her. It shows that at least she has accepted Gregor's change and wants to see him. Although the family does not react very well towards Gregor's change his family still trys to help him.

Grete notices that Gregor is learning to move around, this is a positive change. She decided that...