Character Changes Revealed by the Final Four Pages in Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis"

Essay by virapidsHigh School, 12th gradeB-, January 1997

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An attempt to explain the purpose of the last four pages in The Metamorphosis. A question which many critics ask. Good paragraph transistions. Lacking enough support/evidence.

At first glance, the final four pages of Franz Kafka's novel The Metamorphosis seem to be meaningless. This assumption, however, is anything but the truth. The final four pages, although seeming to be of no importance, serve to show the reader how the Samsa family changes as a result of the main character's, Gregor Samsa's, death. The family's changes are best exemplified in two different scenes: the scene at the kitchen table, and the scene on the trolley.

During the scene at the kitchen table, there is a common change among the family members: their new willingness to do things independently. Their bold act of writing 'letters of excuse' is a clear example of their new independence. Prior to Gregor's death, the family relied completely on Gregor's financial support and had little in terms of responsibilities.

Kafka explains this lack of work when he writes, 'they [Gregor's parents] had formed the conviction that Gregor was set for life in his firm . . . they were so preoccupied with their immediate troubles that they had lost all consideration for the future,'(17). By taking the initiative and writing to their employers, Gregor's family proves that they no longer depend on Gregor.

The scene at the kitchen table proves revealing once again when Mr. Samsa announces that he will fire the cleaning lady (17). By doing so, Mr. Samsa demonstrates that he has changed and can take responsibility. Grete (Gregor's sister) and Mrs. Samsa also show that they have changed by not contesting Mr. Samsa's decision to fire the cleaning lady. In retrospect, firing the cleaning lady is an additional step towards change from the...