Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka: Literary Analysis Essay Sample

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George Washington University
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Literature review
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Apart from the turning of Gregor into a bug, the actual change, the Metamorphosis, happened with the whole family. Gregor’s major transformation occurred through his life changes but not only when he turned to become a bug. Various changes occurred to Gregor throughout his life. However, most of these changes were happening around his room, where he lived. Although he is trapped with an outlook of a bug, he is a human conscious, and at first, he tries his best to help his family through his working abilities. He struggles in his room on the verge of becoming a vermin, and finally, he dies. The changes in his room throughout his life are as described below and evident in the novella, The Metamorphosis. This paper highlights how Gregor struggles in his room to find favor from other members of the family, but he fails. It also highlights the changes that occur in the room of Gregor where he lived.

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Change occurs to everything in the story but not only the life and appearance of the main character, Gregor. He lived in a room which also undergone a series of changes from its original purpose and use of a student’s room. The role of Gregor in his family is very significant to all the family members. In the beginning, he is the only member of the family who is working. His job was very crucial because the future of Gregor, his sister Grete, and their parents solely depended on it (Kafka, pg84). Gregor was not happy with his work. Due to this reason, he always wanted to leave his job. However, he could not quite the job because he had to provide for his parents and sister (Kafka, pg82). He has a feeling that the dependence of his family on him is too much. When he gets ill, he does not want anyone to get into his room because he thinks that his condition would make them start feeling horrified. His room is no longer a resident of a student.

One morning, he woke up in his room with an outlook of a bug. He hardly believes in his current state, but later Gregor realizes that he had changed into a bug and he hardly had control over the transformation of his body. After a period of being a residence for an office worker, his room changes to be resided by a bug. Despite his problems, he is worried about reporting to his job late and what members of his family would say about his current self. Soon he hears his parents knocking at the door of his room, asking him to get out for the job. He panics but still refuses to open the door in fear of letting people know about his current state. Later, his boss joins his parents and begins giving him threats. Due to fear of losing his job and hence his family ending up in the streets for lack of finances, he opens his door. Gregor pleads with his boss not to fire him while running after him. However, when he gets out, everyone runs away from him due to his appearance like a bug. Although he had an assurance of his family understanding his state, they all escapes, and his father almost killed him as he tried to get him back to the room. They fail to understand his flight and have no mercy to help him get back to his past self.

Due to his health change, Gregor’s room which was a nice place before became a dirty place. When his boss comes to check why he had not reported to the job, Gregor’s father tells him that the boss may not mind about the state of his room. Since he had lost his job, he was therefore unable to provide for his two parents and a sister. His relevance to the family was therefore lost because he had nothing to give. Their family eventually began falling apart and the household continuously reduced (Kafka, pg113). Gregor now becomes a trouble to his family for he could not afford any function. They locked him up in his room without letting him out. It was imprisonment since he was completely regulated to accessing the outside environment. His expectations about his parents continuously lacked sense.

While humans live in houses, insects and bugs have their shelter in caves. As time moved on, Gregor was gaining no more respect from his family. They slowly removed his possessions out of his room since he had no strength to deny anything. No one cared about the cleanliness of his room for some time. The cleaning of his room could not have been done so hastily. Dirt streaks stretched along the walls of his room. Balls of dust and filth were also laid everywhere inside the room (Kafka, pg114). Anything that was used at that time by the family was just thrown into his room. They could see beyond the normality no more. He seized being Gregor to them, but now just an insect. Due to this reason, they denied him the respect worthy of him as a human and also their son. His family lets his room be like a cave for insects.

Gregor’s family failed in their obligation to take care of his room and understand him. They isolated Gregor like an alien. Communication with him was a problem. There were no channels he could use to share with his parents while he was in his room. There was an issue related to communication within their family even before he underwent his metamorphosis. Gregor did not identify his voice when he speaks to respond to his mother for the first time. He was shocked as he heard his voice answering the voice of his mother (Kafka, pg70). However, though he sounded awful, Gregor’s mother did not realize the variation in his voice. This failure is a suggestion that they were not speaking often. He suffered from the problems of lack of appropriate communication since his room started being isolated by his relatives.

Gregor’s family did not realize that, although he was like a bug, he was still alive and that he was able to comprehend all that they could say around him. He tried to show loyalty to his family many times. However, the more he bent his head humbly, the more loudly his father stamped on the wall (Kafka, pg86). His sister, Grete, tried to show his father and mother that Gregor was not with them anymore, despite the fact that she was the one who he trusted most. She calls him a creature and tells them that they must try to expel it (Kafka, pg124). She also tells her parents that she cannot call the creature her brother.

Although he suffered in his room and he had started hating the situation, eventually he embraced the place, and it became his appreciated residence. He noticed how his sight was repulsive to them and that there were no hopes of the situation changing (Kafka, pg99). His condition was majorly a result of the abuse that he received from his relatives, and it made him wiser. He got used to his transformation. He began enjoying being a bug. He enjoyed especially hanging from the roof of his room (Kafka, pg100). Also, the more they talked about him, the more they made him think more. He concluded that his state as a bug was better and so he was not willing that things changed to be the way they were at the beginning. He was frequently disturbed by the reasoning that the next moment the door to his room opened, he would be responsible for all the affairs concerning his family (Kafka, pg114). He was exhausted of every member of the family relying on him, and so he reasoned more logically as a bug. He began feeling content in his room and health condition.

Since Gregor was not working anymore, the other members of the family strived to earn income, but they could not equal what he was earning. Because of this insufficiency in income, they looked for three lodgers. On a certain evening, the lodgers gave loud complaints about the appearance of Gregor. Grete also screams calling him a creature that must leave their house. He was starving in his room while others were taking meals. He sadly stays back in his room that evening and finally passes off. When his family found him dead the following morning, they feel relieved and evict the lodgers.

Analysis of Gregors Room

Gregors room goes on to experience change when his mother and his sister, Grete, start getting out his possessions from his room. They get out all the furniture including his table where he used to do the assignment during his high school and elementary education. Taking out the furniture is an indication that they were subjecting him to a life of a beetle. It is also a treatment symbolizing that the room is no longer a shelter for a human. In addition to the fact that Gregor’s family was not concerned about the cleanliness of his room, they turned it into a dumpsite for all the family’s unnecessary things. Everything that was not used to the family at a certain time was headed to Gregors room. As time moved on, they began emptying the dustbins into his room after cleaning the rest of the rooms and compound.


In conclusion, Gregor’s room undergoes the same metamorphosis that is faced by Gregor. They face the same mistreatments from members of the family. They are both isolated from the other parts of the family. Instead of being cleaned like the rest of the rooms in the house, it is left untidy all through since Gregor is not able to clean it. Instead, it is drained off its furniture and left empty. Also, it is abused by the family when they use it to empty the dustbin, just like they abuse Gregor. Gregor and his room are a symbol of people, who sacrifices much for other people, but they are finally abused and not appreciated. Although they saw the room as a residence of a beetle, they failed to understand that it was still part of their house.

Work Cited

Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis.

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