The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, a German author, is about the life of a salesman, Gregor Samsa, who one day woke up to become a bug. He ventures through his life’s journey pondering about his role in the family, and how he and they must adept to the new situation thrust at their doorstep. The Metamorphosis is meant to showcase the different forms of isolation, and the inverse relationship it offers.
The key image of isolation is evident through the relationship of Gregor and his father. Gregor begins the novel as a mildly successful businessman paying off the debts to his employer laid upon from his father, whom has become a withered shell of his former self. As the novel progresses, a struggle for dominance is evident in Samsa family through the father-son relationship of Gregor and his father. Gregor gains immense joy of the fact that he is the breadwinner of the family. So when Gregor turns into a bug, the father must find it in himself to rise to the occasion and support his family like he once did before. The struggle is evident in the father through the dirty nightgown he wears symbolizing his grief and grime. Gregor is physically isolated from the family who keeps him locked in his room, while the father is isolated because he must retake the burden he passed down. Through their conjoint isolation, they, from a distance, admire each other’s torment. As discussed in the interactive oral, both characters go on a physical metamorphosis by changing shape and habits, while remaining true to their natural characteristics and emotions. This inverse relationship leaves both isolated, while unconsciously sympathizing with each other. Gregor sympathizes for his father because he sees what it’s like to burden his family. The father understands Gregor predicament because he is forced to work a job he hates for the sake of his family.