illustration of a giant insect with the outline of a man in a suit standing within the confines of the insect

The Metamorphosis

by Franz Kafka

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How does Gregor's family treat him before his metamorphosis and after?

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While Gregor's family never cares for him, they at least treat him like a human before his change; after his change, they're increasingly cruel and distant.

Gregor's family puts up with him before his metamorphosis because he takes over as the provider for his family. The relationship between them isn't warm, but at least they give him some respect so that he'll continue paying for them to live. When they think he's going to be late to work, they check to make sure he goes. Even though his father doesn't work, he still has a warning in his voice when he tries to get his son up.

Later, however, they start to treat him worse. His father chases him back into the room with a newspaper. He eventually injures him by throwing a piece of fruit at him that causes an infection. His parents and sister are all now working and getting an income since he can't anymore.

Even Grete is eventually unsympathetic to her brother. She was likely the family member he was closest to, but caring for him is a burden to her. She eventually tells her parents she wants them to get rid of Gregor. He decides that dying is the best thing he can do for them, and he does.

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Before his metamorphosis, Gregor is exploited by his family as he is the only one who works; afterwards, when he changes and can no longer work, they become cruel and are repulsed by him because of his hideous appearance and because he is a disgrace to his family.

An absurdly comical meditation upon the human state of alienation, guilt, and insufficiency, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is a bizarre tale of a young man who transforms into a bug in which apples hurled at him stick in his casing and he is imprisoned in his own room. Georg Samka awakens into a surrealistic dream world, and he receives little sympathy from anyone, even though he has sacrificed for years his own desires so that his sister can attend the Conservatory and study music.

Yet, his transformation may also be due to his desires to be freed of the responsibilities that should be his father's, his hatred for his job and the drudgery attached to it, and his resentment for the rest of the family's exploitation of him and their irresponsibility in not contributing to the family income.

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