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To Live Is to Believe in Franz Katha´s The Metamorphosis

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Gregor Samsa is a seemingly normal guy; has a job and provides for his family. He is the sole income earner of his household, though not by choice rather by necessity or so he was made to believe. He lives a rather mundane existence with which he is not exceptionally comfortable with. One morning in what seems like a dream he wakes and has transformed into a giant cockroach, and although this may seem a little alarming his first concern is that he is going to be late for work. His family seems a little taken aback by his new appearance but continues to believe that it is still Gregor. As time goes on the family begins to lose their faith and as their faith wanes so does the health of Gregor. As soon as the families’ belief fades completely that the cockroach is the embodiment of Gregor, he dies. So in the case of Gregor Samsa belief that he is not his appearance is his source of life.
At first the concern that the family shows seems genuine, especially for the sister Grete who shows the greatest sympathy for Gregor and takes it upon herself to be his caretaker. His mother and father seem utterly in despair by Gregors transformation and feel that it is a great encumbrance on them since he is the sole breadwinner. Gregor was made to believe that his family is incapable of working and that they were counting on him for support. Gregor in his new cockroach body is unable to communicate with his family, however he is able to hear and understand them. As it turns out his family has been deceiving him; his father has saved up some money unbeknownst to Gregor and his father soon acquires a job as a security guard. His mother and sister also find jobs sewing and as a salesgirl respectively. This is a great shock to Gregor beca...

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...ill their boots, while I’m left to starve!” (Kafka 1229) As Gregor loses contact with his family he also begins losing himself and this becomes the beginning of the end for Gregor. The family emotionally and nearly completely physically abandons Gregor and without anything to look forward to Gregor just simply gives up. “… he wasn’t in the mood to worry about the family, but instead was filled with rage at how they neglected him…” (Kafka 1227) In the end the giant cockroach dies and is disposed of, however not by his family, but the charwoman who was fascinated and repulsed by him. His life extinguished by a lack of faith and belief in Gregor’s true form and as the relief flooded the flat the parents turned their sights on their daughter who they intended to marry off so they would be taken care of in their old age.

Works Cited

Franz Kafka The Metamorphosis
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