Franz Kafka had a poor relationship with his father, had to support his family, bared a guilty conscious over the bad relationship with his father and was contently ill. In the story The Metamorphosis Gregor shared the same obligations as Kafka, demonstrating his unique way to interpret his life, duties, and how demanding his family was through a fictional character. Kafka also uses the sudden change in Gregor's physical appearance to portray his own individual illnesses which eventually lead to his death.
Kafka had a poor relationship with his father and his corrupt relationship is illustrated through a fictional character, Gregor and his relationship with his own father. Due to this poor relationship Kafka experienced a devastating guilty feeling that he shared through Gregor. They both experienced a guilty conscious due to the constant struggle with their fathers to gain his approval. As presented in The Metamorphosis Gregor did not experience the normal father-son relationship that a normal society is aware of and the guilty feeling steps in because there was no father-son relationship in both Gregor and Kafka's situations, which in the story's case, was a crucial factor leading to Gregor's downfall and possibly Kafka's downfall as well. "With a hostile expression his father clenched his fist, as if to drive Gregor back into his room, then looked uncertainly around the living room, shielded his eyes with his hands, and sobbed with heaves of his powerful chest" (987-988). This is quoted directly after Gregor's manager convicted him of stealing the money and left. It shows Gregor's father, angry because he knows that Gregor's job is now lost, and he is more angry about that, than the fact that his son has become a bug. You actually can see through one quote the corrupted father-son relationship Gregor had with his father. Gregor's father's attitude towards him does not even change after his death. "Well, said Mr. Samsa, now we can thank God" (1017). Even after Gregor's death his father does not feel grief-stricken or remorse at all, instead he feels demonstrates a sense of completeness or pleasure. He exposes himself, along with the other family members, as free from a horrible tie down or anchor. It seems that he is not going to grief over his dead son, who provided for him, but he shows cheerfulness now that he is free from a time consuming, life and money risking object. Kafka's particular and captivating method of expressing the outlined struggles between father and son express his true feelings and experiences that, once identified, truly explain his feelings.
Gregor's duty to support his family represents how Kafka also had obligations to support his family. As Kafka interprets his life story and struggles about supporting a family through Gregor you can see how demanding the family was on Gregor and how he had to meet the standards to complete his duties and support the family effectively. This presents how Kafka truly felt about supporting his own family and feels that he is carrying all the weight of the family as he supports them individually. Most men in a family are considered and want to accept the role of the person who "brings home the bacon". In this case, Gregor was the only individual living in his household that was supporting the family, while other members, including his own father, could grasp reality and find employment. Since this is the case, Kafka could be presenting us with his feelings of unfairness in his own family, showing that he was the one stuck with the towering stress and constant struggle to be the individual in the family to take responsibility and bring home the bacon. "The upset of doing business is much worse than the actual business in the home office, and besides, I've got the torture of traveling, worrying about changing trains, eating miserable food at all hours, constantly seeing new faces, no relationships that last or get more intimate" (979). Gregor hates his job and is just painted in the quote, but does it to support the family since he is the unlucky individual tagged with this responsibility. With all the weight on his shoulders, he has to continue doing what he hates, to support the family. Gregor also shows his emotions about his boss and how unfair the boss can be comparing to the other traveling salesmen he sees at hotels. "Other traveling salesmen live like harem women. For instance, when I go back to the hotel before lunch to write up the business I've done, these gentlemen are just having breakfast. That's all I d have to try with my boss; I'd be fired on the spot" (979). Gregor is upset with his career, and right now, he is a perfect example of someone that hates there job and always feels that they are treated unfair compared to the other employees. In this case, Gregor has the right to feel this way, he is individually supporting his family which is completely unfair to him, then at work, he is experiencing more unfairness and now it's starting to layer up. Looking at Kafka, he worked for an aggressive Italian insurance agency, and did not like his job due to its horrible wage, hour's and unfairness, which is all vibrantly expressed with Gregor. Gregor's emotions towards his job represent Kafka's true feelings of his own employment.
Lastly, Franz Kafka was known to be very sickly, eventually becoming diagnosed with tuberculosis, which put him to his death in 1924. Kafka's illnesses were portrayed in The Metamorphosis with the unique transformation of Gregor becoming a bug. Gregor slowly lost all abilities to move, he became alienated, and useless. Kafka felt like this and portrayed his feelings and experiences through Gregor with the use of the "dying bug". "He had pains, of course, throughout his whole body, but it seemed to him that they were gradually getting fainter and fainter and would finally go away altogether" (1016). The quote shows how Gregor is now officially dying as a bug, and shows his end struggle and the slow progress to his death. This shares experiences to Kafka because he felt like this with his own illnesses and experienced these pains and shares them through Gregor. "He remained in this state of empty and peaceful reflection until the tower clock struck three in the morning. He still saw that outside the window everything was beginning to grow light. Then, without his consent, his head sank down to the floor, and from his nostrils streamed his last weak breath" (1017). With Gregor's death, Kafka interprets his life as possibly wanting for his life to end with his content struggles and alienation. Not only does Gregor's becoming a bug demonstrate illness, it demonstrates alienation. Kafka, being a German- speaking Jew in a country of Czech-speaking gentiles shows his experience of alienation. Alienation leads to depression and of course can lead to bad health which can be backed up with Kafka's eventual diagnosis of Tuberculosis. Kafka illustrates all forms of illness and alienation that leads to severe illness through Gregor, in the unique way of transforming Gregor to a alienated, ill man sized bug.
As you can see, Kafka used Gregor to share his stories and experiences, from family obligations to family feuds to his own physical illnesses and forms of alienation. With this unique use of literature technique, you can experience what Kafka went through, interweaved with Gregor experiencing the same situations as Kafka, but with an incredible rare form of expressing it. Kafka with the addition of Gregor, experienced problems with their fathers, which is portrayed both ways. Gregor was stuck with the main responsibilities to support for the family by himself, which hinted towards Kafka's own relationships with his family, possibly stating he was also burdened with this pressure. Also, Kafka's physical illness and alienation was not portrayed as a real illness, but as a metamorphosis to a bug. Once Gregor died as a bug, the actual metamorphosis took place. The family that Gregor supported now moved on and continued life independently without the dependence on Gregor, which is the true metamorphosis.