The Metamorphosis

by: Franz Kafka

Family

1

Well, I have not entirely given up hope, and as soon as I have saved the money to pay off the debt my parents owe him—it might still be another five or six years—I’ll definitely do it.

On the morning of his transformation, Gregor lies in bed thinking about how he’d like to leave his job. However, his family depends on his position to pay off their debts with the employer. Gregor’s resignation to continuing five to six more years in a job he doesn’t like shows how much he values taking care of his family. Later, his love for them becomes heartbreaking as they refuse to even look at him.

2

Gregor’s serious injury, from which he suffered for almost a month . . . served to remind even the father that Gregor, despite his now pathetic and repulsive shape, was a member of the family who could not be treated as an enemy; on the contrary, in accordance with family duty they were required to quell their aversion and tolerate him, but only tolerate.

The narrator explains that after Gregor’s father nearly kills him, Gregor becomes weaker and less mobile than before, which elicits some sympathy from his family. Despite his appearance, they know that a part of Gregor remains present. They don’t want to cast him out just yet. However, the unfailing devotion to his family that Gregor felt before his transformation contrasts with his parents’ and sister’s view of taking care of Gregor as an unwelcome duty.

3

His thoughts, full of tenderness and love, went back to his family. He was even more firmly convinced than his sister, if possible, that he should disappear.

The narrator reveals Gregor’s thoughts after his sister insists that they should try to get rid of him after the boarders see him. He decides to go in his room and die to spare them the burden of his new shape. Gregor’s tender, loving thoughts for his family show how deeply Gregor still cares for them, that he will sacrifice himself for their happiness.