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In the short story “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, the protagonist of the story, Gregor Samsa, goes through a strange transition where he is transformed from a human being into an insect. Throughout the story Gregor’s physical appearance changes but it is apparent that his life as an insect is not that different from his life as a human being. To the reader it seems as though justice is served when Gregor, who has been transformed into an insect by some unexplainable force, can no longer work. Therefore his family, who have been living off him are forced to go get jobs. This would be considered justice if it weren’t for the fact that Gregor is living his life as an insect therefore the idea of justice seems to be undefinable.
“Metamorphosis” is the story of a man named Gregor Samsa who awakes one morning from “unsettling dreams” and realizes that he has been transformed into a
Gregor is a traveling salesman who works ridiculous hours every day while his family sits at home enjoying the luxuries which come from the money that he earns. Gregor spends his time “traveling day in, day out.” He awakes every morning at four o’clock
and has “not once been ill during his five-year employment,” therefore it is quite rare that when the story begins he is late for work. It is so rare that the head clerk of the company where he works appears at his house wondering why he is not out of bed yet and why he is late for work. Finally with the “aid of his chair” Gregor is able to open the door. It is a complete shock to everyone to see Gregor in the state that he is in.
The head clerk is ready to leave and it appears that Gregor has lost his job for good. Gregor’s job loss is not only detrimental to him but also to his family because he is their only source of income. Seeing as how Gregor is unable to get another job, his family is forced to get jobs of their own. Roles are now reversed because now Gregor’s family is forced to take care of him. Gregor’s life as a human was unjust because he was
forced to financially support his family and wake up at four o’clock every morning to go to work as a traveling business man.
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transformed into an insect it seems as though he will receive justice because he no longer has to work. The only problem is he has to live life as an insect and embrace the troubles that go along with that life.
When Gregor’s family is forced to work it seems as though Gregor has finally received
justice. His family is now being punished for the fact that they made him work while they did nothing. It seems as though this is displaced justice because the only one who can truly see justice is the reader. Gregor is not able to see what is happening
because he is living his life as an insect which means his family no longer sees him as one of their own. It appears that Gregor is paying for the sins of his family and some outside force has transformed Gregor into an insect to punish his family for their lack of consideration towards him.
As Gregor lives his life as an insect it becomes more and more apparent how unjust his
life really us. Gregor is outcasted from his family. He spends most of his time hiding underneath the family’s sofa. Gregor who was no longer a part of the family,
“could get no news directly” only what he overheard when “he would run over to the corresponding door and press his entire body against it.” Gregor was fed twice a day and the family “ate almost nothing.” Gregor’s parents could not bring themselves to visit his room, it was his sister who took care of him the most. One day in a fit of rage Gregor’s father threw an apple which “lodged itself in Gregor’s back.” A month later the apple was still wedged in Gregor’s side.
His sister was worn out because of the job she was forced to get, still she was the only one in the family who did not neglect him. Gregor “ate next to nothing” and the only thing that brought any joy to his pathetic life was his sisters violin playing. The family as a whole stopped thinking that the vermin was Gregor, they now referred to him as “it.” One day early in the morning the charwoman, who did regular brief visits to Gregor checked on him and when he did not move it was apparent that he was “dead as a doornail.” When the family received the news they reacted with “thanks be to God.” The family moved on as if nothing had happened and realized that during all the time they spent on Gregor, their daughter Grete had turned into a voluptuous young woman and it was
time to concentrate on her and find her a husband. Whether he be a human or an insect Gregor was in an awful situation. As a human being he was miserable because he had to work all the time. As a bug he is miserable all the time because he is outcasted from his
family and not remembered as the human being who spent so much time trying to please their needs. It seems as though because of everything that Gregor has had to go through he can almost be considered an accidental martyr. A martyr is one who endures pain or suffering to further a cause. The cause that Gregor was suffering for was his family. As a human he suffered for them by working everyday at four o’clock in the morning. As a bug
he suffered because they treated him as an outcast. Gregor died for a cause. He died to get justice against his family. If
Gregor had never turned into an insect his family would have continued to do nothing and live off of him. As an insect he was forced into an unhappy life but it was not more unhappy than his life as a human being and he was getting revenge. When he was dead
his family was still forced to work but he was dead and in peace.