The Metamorphosis Themes


Financial impacts on human relationships

Gregor is shackled by his family because he is the one who earns money. Therefore, with the possible exception of his sis, the household seems to treat him not as a member but as an income. When Gregor is no longer able to work after his metamorphosis, he is treated with revulsion and ignored. Once the household begins working, they also find problem interacting with each other, consuming dinner in silence and fighting among themselves. The fatigue of dehumanizing jobs and the acknowledgment that individuals are just valuable so long as they make a wage keeps anybody who works isolated from others and not able to establish human relations with them.

Household task

The theme of family and the responsibilities of relative to each other drive the interactions between Gregor and the others. His thoughts are nearly totally of the requirement to support his parents and sending his sister to the Conservatory. Though Gregor hates his job, he follows the call of duty to his household and goes far beyond basic duty. The family, on the other hand, looks after Gregor after his metamorphosis only up until now as responsibility appears to require. He is kept locked in his space and brought food. In the end, his space is hardly cleaned up and his sister no longer cares about what food she brings him. Her actions are routine, as she only wishes to do enough that she can declare she has actually satisfied her task. When she decides she has actually had enough, she insists that their task to him has actually been fulfilled: “I don’t think anyone could reproach us in the slightest,” she says as she recommends that they require to get rid of him.


Before his metamorphosis, Gregor is pushed away from his job, his humankind, his household, and even his body, as we see from the fact that he barely notifications his improvement. In reality, even his consideration for his household seems to be something alien to him, as he hardly notifications it when he loses this factor to consider at the end. After his metamorphosis, Gregor feels completely pushed away from his room and environment and, as a sign of this, can’t even see his street out the window. The Metamorphosis, then, is a powerful indictment of the alienation induced by the contemporary social order.

Liberty and escapism

Gregor is trapped in his task by his responsibility to his household, but he dreams of the day when he can finally settle their financial obligations and stop his task. His need for freedom from the restrictive demands of work is expressed in his metamorphosis, by means of which he gets away. This escape, nevertheless, fails to bring Gregor liberty, for he is now sent to prison by his family in his space. Therefore, when Gregor works, he is enslaved by his task and, when he doesn’t work, he is shackled by his household. There is no way of canceling liberty and duty, and in the end one is constantly a servant. The only means of escape turns out to be death.


Regret comes from household task, and is Gregor’s most effective feeling. When he is changed into a bug, Gregor is made unable to work by circumstances beyond his control. Despite the truth that his metamorphosis is not his fault, nevertheless, he is racked by regret whenever that the family mentions money or that he thinks about the discomfort that he has inadvertently inflicted on them by losing the ability to support them. Regret, it turns out, is lethal, as Gregor understands at the end that his life is the only thing keeping the family from a much better life. He dies for them just as he lived for them: out of regret.

Personal identity

Alone in his room, Gregor tries to rebuild the self-identity that he had actually lost by living completely for others and neglecting his own needs. He can not, however, escape from what he sees as his household task, and continues to act only to serve his family by doing his finest not to trouble them. Gregor’s comments about his family’s behavior are typically tinged with animosity at the way they treat him, but he will not allow himself to recognize his bitterness. Gregor handles to escape his self-effacing sense of duty just in the last chapter, when he asserts himself in recognizing that his household has actually been overlooking him. Gregor’s search for his identity appears helpless, nevertheless, due to the fact that he never had an identity to begin with. He discovers his humankind just at the end, when his sibling’s playing reminds him of his love for his household. This love, combined with his freedom, is the last ingredient he requires to establish his identity.