The outstanding work of Kafka “Metamorphosis” outlines the political changes in the society which lead directly to the horror and loneliness of the human being. In the first and the second section the main problem, however, is money and evils that they entangle. The author shows how easily they can ruin any relationship, even as strong as family ties.
Kafka outlines the vanity of being. He shows how dependent people are on material well-being. The turning into an insect is very symbolic, as Gregor Samsa leads his life in such a way that it reminds of the existence of an insect: he runs to work, comes back looking eagerly for something to eat, and all days pass like this. The routine is undermining his physical strength making him sleepy and exhausted all the time.
His workaholism, which is a necessity to help out his poor family, drives Gregor into a vermin, as if stressing out on the notion that salesmen are quite like scurrying bugs.
Gregor’s work does not bring him the slightest hint on satisfaction or recognition. He knows very well that he can be fired anyway and the replacement will be easily found. Nevertheless his efforts to do his best in business, he has just got himself into such a state that he could not work anymore.
An interesting parallel can be drawn between Samsa’s working place and life in the parents’ house where he is the main breadwinner. The two of them remind me of a prison where Gregor is stuck for his whole life and he does not know or does not want to leave. The debts of his parents make it impossible for Gregor to quit his job in order to have some rest or find his destination in life.
Poor physical state of Gregor is quite common for many people of both that time and our time. The increase of stress and, therefore, diseases caused by it, in combination with the obsession with work to have the opportunity to lead a decent life, are the main features of capitalism which erodes societies till today.
The thoughts about food of Gregor sounds like the thoughts of survival from death.
In the next section, Gregor’s conditions make his parents to start working which they despise a lot. This leads to an increasing conflict that turns even his sister, Grete, against him. Parents have to work hard now at works they dislike in the same way that Samsa did before, however, this does not lead to the recognition of his efforts for the family but only provokes their anger and despise towards their only son.
The whole family starts scurrying, however, only poor Gregor look like a real insect. His family is also like insects – parasites which were spoiling Gregor’s life when he could still work. When he becomes an insect with the clear mind of a human, they turned away very easily from him.
Nonetheless such an outrageous behavior of the whole family, Gregor tries to be understanding of them. His desire to eat less to allow parents have more food symbolizes that even in the worst conditions, a kind-hearted and caring person will always remain a human being, even being in transferred to a vermin.
All acuteness of the situation is observed when Mr. Samsa beats poor Gregor. In my opinion, here the author reveals the greatest irony of the book – the opportunity to be loved and cared for, which Gregor wanted so much, is what can never be obtained in the capitalistic world where people are ruled only by materialistic interests. For Gregor love is the best food, however, this is the only thing he cannot enjoy and which, furthermore, injures him badly when his own father tries to kill him.