"The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka.

Essay by buxom_va_beautyUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2003

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The Metamorphosis: A Family Tragedy

By Melissa Mullins

The long story The Metamorphosis is one that is very subtle and very delicate, yet at the same time quite disturbing. One doesn't expect to open a book and begin reading a story whose opening line finds the main character awakening to find that he has been transformed into a beetle-like insect. In reading the story I didn't find it to be in any way amusing or comical. Instead I found it to be horrifyingly tragic. It seems to me that in this story there is one disconcerting event after another. Gregor is unappreciated by his family, who depended on him for their happiness. The debts incurred by his parents forced Gregor into his job as a traveling salesman, a job that was extremely tiring and unrewarding. Gregor's loyalty and devotion to his family and their happiness was unappreciated and taken for granted.

Even after his death, it is obvious Gregor was there for a cause. The purpose for his existence was to serve his family.

After Gregor's sudden change from his normal hardworking self to that of a bug, he was no longer of any use to his family, and he was unappreciated in every way imaginable. He no longer had a job and therefore, nothing to offer to his family who depended on him for so long. The household began to fall apart, and Gregor was only regarded as a problem, for he no longer served a purpose in the family. He was locked up in his room, held prisoner by the very family he had worked so hard to provide for all those years. Slowly his possessions were taken away, and for some time no one bothered to even clean his room. His father, disgusted by his appearance,