What A Difference A Day Makes

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

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The metamorphosis of Gregor's father and Sister, Grete, in Franz Kafka's short story, The Metamorphosis is dramatic and life changing.

In the beginning, Gregor's father is out of work and debilitated from age and a number of unnamed illnesses. He lies around their flat and vegetates all day. Gregor's father no longer contributes to their family's wellbeing and financial status. In the first section of the book, Gregor's father lounges in his old uniform, clad with grease stains and other soiled spots, entirely complacent with his life's decrepit condition.

As the story progresses, the father continues to try and make something of his life. He is forced to return to work to support his family, in lieu of Gregor. While the father continues to provide for his family, his relationship with the family and interaction with the rest of his family improves.

The father's emotional status also improves as he returns to work.

In the beginning of the story the father sees himself as a failure because of the falling-out of his business. The father walks around his apartment slouched with his head dropped, indicating his depressed mindset on the status of his life. In general, the father lacks the strength of character to overcome all of the obstacles that have permeated his life. Until the situation is forced upon him, that he must plunge himself back into the work force or starve being a coward, afraid of another failure. The father's metamorphosis is a direct change wherein his feelings for himself are improved. This differs from the metamorphosis of Grete such that the feelings of others towards her have changed.

Grete is at first seen as a worthless excuse for a daughter by her parents. After Gregor's metamorphosis, Grete begins to play a more important role in the family because she is the sole caretaker of Gregor for many months. Grete's parents begin to see that Grete is a more responsible and worthwhile adult than the young naïve girl they once envisioned her to be. Grete's opinions in the household become more influential with her parents as time goes by. When Grete recommends that the time has come for the family to rid their lives of the massive insect that is not Gregor, her parents seriously contemplate the idea.

Grete's parents opinion of her have so dramatically morphed that at the end of the story, her parent's decide that Grete has magically changed into a beautifully vivacious, young woman with a good figure. Her parents also decided that it was about time to begin searching out a husband for their beautiful daughter, whom they see, now in a new light.

The metamorphosis of Gregor's father and sister, in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis have direct and dramatic effects on their lives, as well as their attitudes toward themselves.