Gregor's father is especially violent towards Gregor and gives him a terrible physical injury. What might this symbolize?In Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Gregor's father is violent and injures Gregor....

Gregor's father is especially violent towards Gregor and gives him a terrible physical injury. What might this symbolize?

In Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Gregor's father is violent and injures Gregor. How is this symbolic?

Expert Answers
thewritingteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Franz Kafka had a poor relationship with his own father, so it is no surprise that Gregor's father is cast in a negtive light. The second link below explains a little about that relationship and how it affected Kafka.

Gregor's father is a bully--and a lazy one at that. From the beginning Kafka tells the reader that the man racked up debts that he expected his son to repay while he sat at home. To see Gregor as a huge insect now threatens his comfortable life. As with most bullies, he reacted with an outburst of temper against Gregor rather than with compassion toward Gregor's condition.

The symbolism here is broader than just the poor relationship between Kafka and his father. Kafka here illustrates how a domineering parent and an ultra compliant child can create a dynamic that is completely unhealthy for both. In this case, the father ignores his responsibilites as a provider for the family and takes out his frustrations on the weakest family member. Gregor (the child) is made to sacrifice any hope he had for independence, and the longer he submits to his father's dominance, the farther apart the two become: the father getting angrier and the son becoming more servant than son.

 

Read the study guide:
The Metamorphosis

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