When Gregor Samsa woke one morning from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed right there in his bed into some sort of monstrous insect. He was lying on his back -which was hard, like a carapace- and when he raised his head a little he saw his curved brown belly segmented by rigid arches atop which the blanket, already slipping, was just barely managing to cling.
That is the opening passage from The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. The story evolves around Gregor, a traveling salesman, who woke up one morning as an insect. His transformation changes him and everything around him.
I was hoping the story would give me a lot of self contemplation and psychological details but it didn’t (well, not as much as I hoped). Regardless, I highly appreciate how the story forces me to think in terms of analogy and of reflexive interpretation.
I think everyone goes through transformation in life that is forced by nature and irreversible such as growing up. Such transformation changes our dynamic within family and society in general. I see how my own family dynamic changes as I grow up. In my 30s now, I find myself an equal to my parents and my older brother. Needless to say, Gregor’s transformation is far more challenging than mine.
Before the transformation, Gregor is the backbone of his family’s financials, the caretaker.
If I didn’t have to hold back for my parents’ sake, I’d have given notice long ago -I’d have marched right up to him and given him a piece of my mind… Well, all hope is not yet lost; as soon as I’ve saved up enough money to pay back what my parents owe him -another five or six years ought to be enough- I’ll most definitely do just that. This will be the great parting of ways. For the time being, though, I’ve got to get up…
And obviously, the role shifts to an opposite direction after he becomes an insect. And although family is the central topic of the story, it also discusses employment and society in general.