Discussion Question 1
In each and every family all over the world, everyone has a role or position within their own families. It doesn’t matter where you are from or what religion you may be everyone has something that they normally do for their family. In my family I did small little chores around the house when I was growing up and was kind of like a sidekick whenever we went somewhere. In my family that I am creating now that I am older I am a worker and homemaker. While it is clear and makes sense that there a positions like this within each family, what doesn’t make sense sometimes is what the position is for the person in the family. Gregor’s relationship and position within his family in The Metamorphosis demonstrates this quite well.
After reading through the story it seems as though Gregor’s position in his family is the provider. He goes to work to make sure that his family has things and is supported. But this sort of position in his family really strains his relationship with his family members. Some of the clues that Gregor’s relationship with his family is rather unsatisfactory show up pretty much right in the beginning of the story. When Gregor is beginning to run late for work his mother comes and knocks on his door to see if he is awake and if he is going to be going to work soon. While this doesn’t have to necessarily be seen as an unsatisfactory relationship with his mother, because after all she is just caring that he makes it to work, it can also be seen as unsatisfactory. In families mothers seem to be the caregiver to the children and the fact that she is only waking him up for work and not offering him some sort of breakfast can make it seem like she isn’t upholding her position. Next his dad comes to get him up and shouts through the door at him trying to find out what is wrong in a low octave, which is normally meant to be intimidating, before going back to his breakfast. Lastly, his sister is trying to figure out what is wrong and help him but Gregor just ignores her. She just wants to help him get better and Gregor doesn’t really want anything to do with her which seems to make their relationship strained. While each family member’s relationship with Gregor is strained, none seem more so than that of Gregor and his father.
Gregor and his father’s relationship is the most strained of all. When the transformation happens his father seems to not have any sympathy for him. When his wife wants to see her son he gives her an argument of why that would not be a good idea. Then as time goes on with Gregor still being a cockroach his father attempts to beat him with a cane back into his room, later throwing fruit at him. He really doesn’t seem to care for his son much in the beginning of the story except for the fact that his son makes the money, but once that income is gone he cares for him even less and becomes abusive. It is a terrible relationship from the beginning that only gets worse. I have never known anyone to have this terrible of a relationship with their father, especially one that wouldn’t even care if something was wrong with their own child.
While I believe that it is a good thing to have specific positions within families, I don’t believe that it is good to have such strict positions within a family that strain relationships. Gregor seemed to have a strict position in which he had to be the breadwinner for the family and if he was not able to complete that task the barely there relationships that he had with his family became even more strained. We are all just human and I can almost guarantee that without some form of family in everyone’s life people are not going to have very satisfactory lives or relationships with other. So enjoy one another’s company and share the duties of breadwinner and everything else so no one has to always bear one position.