I have chosen The Metamorphosis as my subject for this paper; I will take a close look at how the death of Gregor Samsa opens the doors to understanding the story. I will give examples of irony through Gregor’s metamorphosis and how this irony brings together the conclusion of the story. Through his death we see the truth behind his parents, which in it’s self is ironic. It is difficult to pinpoint one specific thing to write about in the story; there are just so many things that can be brought to light. If I happen to lose sight of my topic bear with me, there is just so much to be discussed in the novella.
In the opening lines of the story we are drawn into climax of the story. We are introduced to the main character, Gregor Samsa, and he has been transformed from a human to a bug. Gregor gives a long description of his looks and how he is trying to maneuver around. One peculiar thing is he does not panic, ironically he is more concerned with getting to work and hiding himself from his family. He is a hard working man that supports his parents and sister. The notion that he takes care of them seems to slip by the reader in the beginning of the story and does come up again until the end of the story. It is only then that everyone must go out a do something to support the family
We finally see at end of the story how useful Gregor was to his family. By using the word useful I mean how many things he could be used for in advantage toward them. Gregor trapped himself in this world of sales because of his parents. He states “I’d be sacked on the spot. Anyhow, that might be quite a good thing for me, who can tell? If I didn’t to hold my hand because of my parents I’d have given notice long time ago, I’d have gone to the chief and told him exactly what I think of him.” They live in an upper class flat and they have hired help to wait on them, and Gregor is the one who supports it all. His father lost his business and his mother and sister do not work. The metamorphosis of Gregor is a dark blessing to him. It releases him from all of the pressures of daily life, his family, and at times he seems to enjoy being a bug. At one point he tells us how much he enjoys crawling up and down the walls and ceiling.
Throughout the story there is a metamorphosis that is taking place in his home. He has traded places with the family and is now living the life they had previously embelished in. His father begins to work along with his sister and his mother must now work and do the cooking and cleaning. Gregor on the other hand does nothing but daydream, crawl, and nap through his days. One ironic statement from his sister “He must go, if this were Gregor he would have realized long ago human beings can’t live with such a creature, he’d have gone away one his own accord. This creature persecutes us, drives away our lodgers, obviously wants the whole apartment to himself, and would have us all sleep in the gutter.” How selfish of her, had he not taken care of them and he was not the only one working to make sure they were not sleeping in the gutter? As for him wanting the whole apartment, he lived in his tiny room until his death. I think he ventured out twice only to be scurried back in by threat. These people had paid as little attention to him as possible before and after the metamorphosis.
In the last few pages we read of Gregor’s death. The chairwomen spots the corpse and they come running as she yells to them. Grete does seem to be he most upset, but the fact that she is staring down at him could be disbelief. Disbelief that it is all over with just as she wanted. The parents do not seem affected at all, his father crosses himself and says “well, now thanks be to God.” I though to myself as I was reading that it was ironic that he was giving up a prayer of thanks at his son’s death. His mother questions the chairwomen “Dead?” she asks, almost as if she wants to make sure. She then walks away and turns to Grete to tell her to join them with a “tremendous smile.” They really do not have any remorse about the situation at all; they are truly more concerned with themselves. Gregor is dead now and each can return to life. As if he were such a burden to them, they acted as if he were dead from the first morning the metamorphosis took place until the morning he took his last breath. It is almost evil the way they handled his death. “They decided to take the day resting and going for a stroll, for they had deserved such a respite from work.”Such sarcastic undertones lie in that sentence, for they had not done anything to deserve a day off of work.
Finally in the last paragraph of the novella we see truly how rotten Mr. and Mrs. Samsa really are. They are riding along divising a mentally scheme of what to do next in life. Now that the burden of Gregor was gone they would have to find someone else to mooch off of. They look at their daughter as their newest and last asset. “pretty girl with a good figure.” They are unconsciously agreeing with each other, for nothing of this was being discussed out loud. The story excitedly states “soon it would be time to find a good husband for her. And it was like conformation of their new dreams and excellent intentions.” Sick.
My conclusion to this paper is short and sweet. Gregor escaped his hell and for awhile bore his parents into theirs. Mr. and Mrs. Samsa were rotten people down to the core. By the end of the story they are trying to erase any trace of him from their lives, he is simply not worth any thing to them now. The metamorphosis is a story of irony from start to finish. It begins with the climax, which is ironic, for most stories could not hold the reader’s attention if they had done that. That is the beginning of an awkward and odd novella that is darkly humorous and remotely sad