Family Member Becomes a Bug in The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Satisfactory Essays
How should someone’s family react to their kin becoming a large bug? Hate them, of course. In “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning and he was no longer a human, but as a “monstrous vermin” (Kafka, “The Metamorphosis 1156). His family reacted unsympathetic and as the short story progresses the hatred towards him grows, mostly from Gregor’s father. Franz Kafka, the writer, also had many father troubles in his life time. Gregor Samsa’s relationship with his father is fashioned after Franz Kafka’s personal life.
The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, not only tells the troubling story of Gregor Samsa but of the underlying autobiographical influences of Kafka himself. The first similarity is the unhappiness in both men’s careers, both induced by their strong-willed fathers. In the short story, when Gregor awakes he realizes the problem is not that “he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin” but that he will be unable to do his job, that pays for his parent’s debt (1156). Franz spent his life, unhappy but successful just like Gregor. Franz majored in law to please his father. Both men strived for similar family duties, Gregor to pay off his father’s debt and Franz for a false sense of hope that one day his father would love him (1157; Sulkes).
Out of Franz’s three siblings, Ottla was his favorite and was loved dearly by Franz just as Gregor loved his sister, Grete. Ottilie, nicknamed Ottla by Franz’s family, was also disliked by Hermann and letters sent between the two have been published as book, “Letters to Ottla”, which shed some light on their childhood and their relationship (Franz). The two siblings supported each other and sometimes boarded together as adult, and by 1918 Franz was helping Ottla search for and be admitted to an agricultural school, which was very uncommon for women to during that time, just as Gregor planned to help pay for Grete’s way into the musical conservatory before he became unable to (1171;Wagenbach). Franz loved Ottla as much as Gregor loved Grete, even as she “shoved any old food into Gregor’s room with her foot.” (1182). While Gregor died of starvation “he thought back on his family with deep emotion and love. His conviction that he would have to disappear was, if possible, even firmer than his sister’s.
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