Gregor and Grete

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Gregor and Grete

Post  Kyndra S. on Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:27 pm

Did anyone else find the shift in the relationship between Gregor and his sister particularly interesting? Initially, she is his greatest supporter in his difficulty, providing him with food, cleaning his room, leaving his chair by the window so he can look out, and generally being quite fastidious in her care of his comfort and well-being (especially when compared to the rest of his family). However, by the end of the story she has become his greatest foe, and her only reaction to his demise is joy... What exactly is this portraying? Is it a comment on the role of caretakers? Or that everyone deserts him in the end? I'm not sure, but I've been pondering it. What do you all think?

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re: Gregor and Grete

Post  jordenwiggins on Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:27 pm

Well, it said that before the metamorphosis Grete was a generally useless daughter to her parents, the dad could barely walk on his own, and the mom didn't do much either. It seemed as if throughout the story, the family learned to depend on themselves and not on Gregor, while his role was also reversed and he became completely dependent upon them. So, it might be saying something about caretakers. He didn't really resent his family, though, when he had to care for them, like his family came to resent him as a beetle. I'm not sure how to answer your question.
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Re: Gregor and Grete

Post  rhodakaye124 on Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:41 pm

I do think it's note-worthy that while Gregor took care of the family they were all helpless, but when he was unable to take care of them it turned out that they weren't helpless at all. Their helplessness was a state of mind whereas Gregor's helplessness was very real. And whereas Gregor didn't mind taking care of his family, even though they were capable of taking care of themselves, they were completely burdened by taking care of him, even though he had absolutely no alternatives. I found it interesting, though, the way Kafka talks about Gregor wanting to tell his sister that he enjoys her violin playing, or that he wanted to show his family his good intentions, but he is completely incapable of doing so. And then at the end when he realizes that his sister was right and that he definitely needed to "disappear" for his family's sake - even though his family had turned against him and was repulsed by him, he still loved them. I think that in itself speaks volumes. They regard him as this disgusting creature but he still has very real, very human emotions, thoughts and feelings. So maybe it's saying something about inward vs outward.... I don't know. All I know is that I was really pissed off by this story when I first finished it but I couldn't stop thinking about it the entire next day. It really opens a lot of thought processes.

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Re: Gregor and Grete

Post  jkey on Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:50 pm

The relationship began to deteriorate when the family stopped viewing Gregor as having any vestiges of humanty left in him. At first they hoped for his recovery but when he didn't change they gave up their hope. Even though we know as the readers that he still felt human emotions the family could not see it with clarity. He was considerate of their feelings which he displayed by hiding himself from view as his sister cleaned his room so she would have to see him because he was aware that his appearance troubled her. The inability to communicate with his family caused them to loose faith in his humanity. His actions may have signaled otherwise but they were unable to see them the way he intended his actions to be viewed. Even though he tried to show submisison to his father by acting like he wanted back in his room the father still threw and lodged an apple in his back. They could not understand him and without the ability to effectively communicate it eventually severed their relationship with each other. Even Gregor holds resentment after awhile with how he is being treated but he still loves his family. He still worries over them and hates not being able to pull his own weight. He can't express these feelings and thoughts to his family. Communication falls apart between the them and thus the spawning resentment and disdain.

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