Greta’s Transformation

“‘ It must be gotten rid of’ cried the sister; ‘that is the only way, father. You must try to get rid of the idea that this is Gregor. The fact that we have believed so long, that is truly our real misfortune. But how can it be Gregor? If it were Gregor, he would have long ago realized that a communal life among human beings is not possible with such and animal and would have gone away voluntarily.’” (69)

By the end of Part III of the narrative we see that Gregor’s physical condition brings about numerous problems for his family. Since he is no longer working, it forces the rest of his family to work to make up for the loss of income. Gregor later drives away the lodgers and causes a lot of tension within the home. Also because Gregor cannot communicate with his family, due to his increasing inability to speak as time progresses, the family does not know his desires or what he is thinking.

It appears to the reader that although Gregor is still a member of the family, because he no longer can assist in the family’s financial situation, he was of no use to them. After overhearing his sister’s request Gregor feels unwanted and depressed, and dies the next morning. This is especially sad because not only was he stressed about his family’s financial burden when he was still a man, but also when he is an insect. He expresses that he planned on sending his sister to conservatory regardless “the great expense, which that must necessitate and which would be made up in other ways” (35).

I think that it is significant to recognize that it is Gregor’s sister, Grete who makes the suggestion to get rid of Gregor. Initially it was Grete who was taking care of Gregor and providing him with food. She even argues with her mother that altering Gregor’s room was the best option for him, as that would allow him to climb up the walls and across the ceiling. But as the story continues the one person in the family who appears to be the most compassionate towards Gregor, his sister Grete, becomes frustrated and loses hope that Gregor will return to the brother she once knew. Although Gregor’s transformation is the focus of the narrative, Grete’s transformation is also significant. In the beginning she is the only one there to assist Gregor, but at the end she gives up hope, and convinces her parents that they do not need him.


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