Essay Example on Famous novella Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka the audience Follows









In the famous novella Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka the audience follows a strong undertone of specific stereotypes and gender roles between men and women Especially since in the story we follow our main character Gregor Samsa and his sister Grete Samsa and see how their independent roles in the household become disturbed once their gender expectations are altered due to Gregor's metamorphosis into a bug In Metamorphosis Kafka emphasizes the male and female stereotypes through the emotional and physical changes displayed through the characters Our main character Gregor is currently looked at as the head of the family in a society where adapting and conforming to the ultimate social hierarchy is key Gregor s psychological dedication to this societal construct is clearly illustrated through his intense anxiety about his job rather than his physical transformation into a giant disturbing insect Oh God he thought what a strenuous career it is that I ve chosen Kafka 1 Gregor s sudden inability to fill his role of the male provider means he must now fully dependent on the women of the house for all of his needs Since Gregor's role has changed this now means that Grete is now forced to take on the role of the provider After Gregor's transformation his primary interaction is with the women of the house 

This may be due to the fact Gregor no longer entirely identify as a man In this way Gregor can relate more to the women of the household Any interaction between Gregor and his father is of a violent nature This instills the role of male over female dominance Gregor is womanized through his dependence and looked down upon by his father There is a constant gender struggle for Gregor who is caught between the shameful desire to identify himself with women and the consciousness that he cannot identify himself as a man In addition Gregor has an epiphany that he is losing his gendered identification when his mother and sister begin to clean out his room so he can run on the walls more easily By doing this he is trampling over this representation of what he has to offer In this way he is becoming harder to assign gender and name He is beginning to metamorphose into an it rather than Gregor For example when Gregor creeps from out of his room and exposes himself to the three boarders which causes a whole scene really brings Grete to her breaking point and she then wishes to put an end to all of this chaos We can't carry on like this Maybe you can t see it but I can I don t want to call this monster my brother Kafka 29 Grete can no longer even see Gregor as her brother but only as this burden that has been put on her family that she feels that her family and she can no longer handle Also a crucial turning point in Gregor's mind boggling gender journey occurs in the removal of a certain picture that was hanging in his room The picture is mentioned directly after Gregor realizes he has been transformed into an insect There hung the picture which he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice gilded frame It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer Kafka 1 The fur in the image is almost swallowing the human forearm 

This imagery is similar to Gregor s own situation of being taken over by something very unknown The gender role reversal of Grete and Gregor is shown throughout the text but reaches a boiling point when Grete begins to clear out some of Gregor s possessions from his room Before Gregor s death he is transfixed by this womanly display so much it moves him to tears This could be due to the realization of a deep feminine connection with his sister s struggles Through this display Grete is once again brought back to her original non independent status with her new found growing masculinity soon to be brought to an end through marriage and wifely submission With the thought of how their daughter was blossoming into a well built and beautiful young lady Just from each other s glance and almost without knowing it they agreed that it would soon be time to find a good man for her Kafka 33 For Gregor there is this realization that he cannot make such an easy metamorphosis to his original state Without gender Gregor s death serves as a sacrifice of his life for his memory as a male Through his death he is once again serving the wishes of his family and trying to regain some of his lost masculine credibility that he once had in the beginning before everything

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