The Nature of Existence in “The Metamorphosis,” a Novel by Franz Kafka

Time Writing Rewrite: The Transformation

The nature of presence; and more exactly, the nature of humans and animals is one of self-centered survival. In literature, we see this concept through books such as Heart of Darkness that takes a historic, reasonable method to the principle, and likewise The Road which takes this idea to an extreme, embeded in a post-apocalyptic world. The Transformation poses a question of the nature of existence in terms of a person’s value to society. Franz Kafka puts his protagonist, Gregor, in a bizarre scenario in order to address this question of the nature of presence through the book.

The Metamorphosis conveys a message and a judgement on society through the story of a household that violates the stereotypical household order where the dad is the head of the family; in this household, the father figure is Gregor, the boy, who is the only source of support and earnings. Gregor’s peculiar transformation into a bug produces a dad and child dispute about the remediation of the symbolic order of the household; the law of the daddy, and communicates the main style of the novel: A person’s value in society amounts to just how much other people value them.

The source of the dispute between Gregor and his dad is the function reversal of the two characters’ archetypes. Gregor is the sole working member of the family, which is a sharp contrast to the symbolic order where the dad is the main fan of the family. Gregor’s very first thoughts as he wakes up as a bug had to do with his task: “What is laborious profession it is that I’ve selected.” (7) Gregor, unconsciously, values and prioritizes his career over his state of being since he requires to “pay off [his] parents financial obligation” (8) and to support his family. This quality of Gregor is the foundation of his dad’s bitterness and the only worth that Gregor needs to the family; establishing how he responds to Gregor’s transformation.

Gregor’s dad is initially established as weak and unfulfilling of the dad role: “his dad was knocking on one side door, weakly but with his fist” (7 ). This intro to Gregor’s father provides the readers a look of the father’s character before Gregor’s change. His weak knocking construct that resigned and senile picture of the daddy. A notable choice of words in the sentence is that the father was knocking “with his fist”. Fists are associated with anger and violence; feelings that the father has towards Gregor throughout the novel. The daddy’s introduction in the unique discreetly establishes his quiet resentment towards Gregor, which he does not act on till Gregor’s change; a catalyst for change.

The failure of Gregor’s dad to fulfill his archetype is more developed in the increasing action of the novel. “The same tired man as used to be laying there in June in his bed when Gregor came back from his business journeys” (30 ). This disruption of the archetypal family order promotes the daddy’s insufficiency and bitterness towards Gregor, who has actually taken control of the dad figure function. Gregor’s change is an opportunity for the daddy to restore the symbolic order.

Gregory’s change alters the mechanical, dull nature of his family’s life due to the fact that Gregory ends up being unable to work; Gregory’s father acts on this opportunity and is described as a male who “was standing straight now; dressed up in a wise blue uniform … worn by the employees at the banking institute” (30 ). In some aspects, Gregor’s dad’s improvement is more drastic than Gregor’s own improvement since this description appears to be of a completely different man than the one of the “worn out guy” of the past. “Standing straight” emphasizes his confidence and power as he towers above the bug kind of Gregor. And the “blue uniform” is a sharp contrast to his home clothes throughout his joblessness.

Gregor’s dad’s brand-new ego is more established in the following pages of the unique, leading up to a climax. “He frequently dropped off to sleep and then could just be prevailed upon with the greatest trouble to trade his chair for the bed” (55 ). This persistent unwillingness to return to his bed is a reflection of Gregor’s daddy’s newfound self-confidence as an outcome of being used and making development towards the repair of the family order. The chair is a symbol of being the dad figure and sitting with power rather than the bed, which is a symbol of his unemployement and unhealthy retirement to the bed; a weakness in setting. By discovering a job as a response to Gregor’s improvement, Gregor’s daddy is restoring the symbolic order of the family. However, the order can not be totally restored as long as Gregor, the previous father figure, is still alive and technically utilized.

To eliminate Gregor from the household order, Gregor’s father “filled his pockets with [apples] … [and] tossed one apple after another.” In tossing the apples, Gregor’s dad is providing Gregor the symbolic understanding (from the scriptural Tree of Understanding) of his bitterness and sensations towards Gregor. The weather struggle between Gregor and his daddy is a revelation of Gregor’s function and worth in the family post-transformation. Paradoxically, Gregor’s love produces lack of knowledge because he is never familiar with his family’s real sensations towards him. In his last moments, he “reflected to his household with emotion and love” (41 ). For that reason, the dispute likewise serves to convey a strong message that familial love transcends dispute and death; in Gregor’s case, his father’s betrayal and hostility.

In the conclusion of the unique, the household reviews Gregor’s death without remorse for eliminating him. Gregor’s daddy, with success in restoring the symbolic order, remarks “if just he understood us” (68 ). In stating this, Gregor’s daddy, and Kafka, have two meanings. Gregor’s father needed Gregor to comprehend the symbolic order; the reason for his death. And also, that Gregor’s transformation made him a concern, and worthless to the household due to the fact that of his inability to work. Kafka communicates his message on a person’s value in society through Gregor’s bizarre scenario, and in composing Gregor’s father’s words, he is hoping the audience understands his message.

The daddy vs. kid dispute of The Transformation originated from a disturbance of the symbolic order where the dad attends to the family and functions as a discovery of the fact about society and the value of an individual, and likewise the level of familial love. Once the order, the work of Gregor’s dad, was brought back, the household did not worth Gregor any longer and considered him a problem before murdering him. Gregor’s strange scenario communicates the concept that a person’s worth in society is equal to how much other people value them; an important message that resonates with the readers as they reflect on their value to their own family and society.