Notes on Stories of Franz Kafka Themes

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Stories of Franz Kafka Topic Tracking: Family

The Metamorphosis - Chapter 1

Family 1: Although a grown man, Gregor Samsa still lives at home with his family. He works in order to provide for them and lives his life according to their rules. Everything he does is for his parents and sister.

Family 2: Gregor's family is worried about him, for they hear strange animal noises coming out of his room. His sister, Grete, cries aloud to her brother, hoping he is feeling better.

The Metamorphosis - Chapter 2

Family 3: Gregor looks around at his apartment and realizes that he has been taking care of his family for so long. He finances the apartment and purchases all the furniture and food on which they live. He wonders what they will do without his income.

Family 4: Gregor thinks of the individual members in his family and how they will cope with a smaller income. He worries about his father who has not worked in years after putting on weight, his mother who suffers from sever asthma, and his little sister who loves to play the violin and wear pretty clothes. He thinks of their future, not his own, when contemplating the current crisis.

Family 5: Gregor his relationships change with individual family members. He notices his sister coming into his room and heading directly for the window so that she may breathe with ease. Although she tries desperately to mask her disgust, she still treats Gregor as an insect, not her brother. Despite this maltreatment, she is the one member who attempts to keep a relationship alive with Gregor.

Family 6: Gregor's family desperately struggles with this new change. His mother wants to see him and spend time with him, despite his father's orders. He works very hard placing a sheet over himself so that his family will not be repulsed by his appearance. At this point, he is still connected to his family on an emotional level, caught somewhere between man and bug.

Family 7: Gregor's family is extremely involved in his life at this point, as they see his trackings and remains all over the walls of the house. His mother is furious with him and faints when she sees him. When Gregor's father enters the house, he throws apples at him, injuring his back with an apple piece. The Samsa family has torn itself apart on behalf of Gregor. Mrs. Samsa faints, while trying desperately to keep her husband from hurting her "son," while Grete is confused about what to do this entire time.

The Metamorphosis - Chapter 3

Family 8: Mr. and Mrs. Samsa beam with pride when they look at their daughter. She seems to have replaced Gregor in terms of prosperity and opportunity. They are so preoccupied with Grete, that they do not notice their other child coming in through the dining room.

Family 9: Although she had always been his greatest proponent, Grete becomes Gregor's first opponent. She announces her fears to her parents about their future. She believes that the creature is no longer her brother. The bug living in Gregor's room can no longer be considered part of the family and they must think of action to take.

Family 10: Although Gregor has breathed his final breath less than 24 hours earlier, Mr. and Mrs. Samsa already focus all their lucrative attention on their daughter. They look at Grete's blossoming bosom and begin to plan her future - of course, without her own consent and thoughts.

Josephine, the Songstress or: The Mouse People

Family 11: Josephine the songstress is part of the mouse people family. They love her, protect her, and think she is vitally important to the community.

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