Frank Humes
Kafka & The Modern World
"Metamorphosis" writing assignment

OBITUARY
Gregor Samsa

Gregor Samsa was recently found to be deceased due to unexplainable phenomena. Samsa, a traveling textile salesman, was known for his hard work and was moving up the corporate ladder when his life was so suddenly cut short.

It is rumored that Samsa fell victim to some strange new disease, which attacks its host during the night, and ultimately manifests itself by causing distinguishable changes in the physical appearance of the individual. It is believed that Samsa was transformed one night into a "monstrous vermin"; however, details of this have yet to be confirmed. It was after this "metamorphosis" that his family supposedly harbored him, in his new form, with the hopes of his recovery from the condition. At the present time, the coroner is examining the body, in order to determine the exact cause of death.

Gregor Samsa leaves behind a loving family, which he whole-heartedly supported. Samsa's mother appeared disturbed by the tragedy, but also seemed content to move on with her life. She admitted that Gregor was working long hours and was involved in extended amounts of traveling, which may have taken their toll on the young Samsa. She also noted that it was a duty of his to work hard, in order to earn the income necessary to sustain the rest of the household because his father had recently retired. She countered this by stating that she believed her son would certainly have taken an appropriate break, if he would have really needed one.

His father seemed to be firm throughout the whole ordeal. The loss of his son was indeed tragic, but he too saw this as an opportunity for the family to come together and overcome their deficit. The older Samsa came out of retirement and has quickly secured a job at a bank to help the family generate its lost income. Samsa's father saw the incident as an opportunity to begin a new era in the life of his family. He explained that Gregor was stricken by an illness, which his family anguished over for an extended period of time, and now that it is all over, there is new light for the family.

Samsa's younger sister, Grete, apparently suffered the most as a result of the incident because the two of them were so close; however, it is peculiar that she too has been willing to put it all behind her. Her father has agreed that she has actually benefited from the whole ordeal. It was explained that she was Gregor's primary caretaker during his last days, and from all of these experiences, she has developed emotionally, mentally, and perhaps even physically. Her father pointed out that the episode took its toll on her, but now that it is over, she has blossomed.

By judging from the reactions of family members, it can be determined that the death of Gregor Samsa was perhaps not such a tragic thing. He was relieved of all the rigors of being a traveling salesman and was spared the burden of supporting the rest of his family. Perhaps it could even be deduced that Gregor himself, being so conscious of the welfare of the family, would have actually wanted to die rather than be an unnecessary strain on their lives. What is tragic is that the death of Gregor Samsa will not be remembered as a tragedy due to the circumstances which surrounded it.

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last updated: 04/05/96

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