The Metamorphosis

Gender and Income: Kafka’s Illustration of Power Throughout The Metamorphosis 10th Grade

Whether it be a gender hierarchy or a power system organized by income, human society has frequently fallen back on some form of an unequal power dynamic. Unfortunately, this type of structure can be extremely damaging to those at the bottom of the hierarchy as well as those on top. The members at the bottom are often disrespected and forgotten while those on top are power hungry and can become authoritarians. Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is a text that exemplifies these consequences. Kafka uses the characters of Grete, Gregor and Mr. Samsa to demonstrate two different power structures and their effects. The two power dynamics displayed revolve around gender and income. Kafka uses Grete and Gregor to show the extent of the damage that an unequal gender power structure can have, and he uses the father to show the effects of a capitalist style hierarchy. Moreover, within the category of gender power structures, Kafka focuses on the character of Grete to explain the dynamics of men being higher than women, and vice versa.

At the start of the novella, Grete is portrayed as weak, when she realizes that Gregor is not well, “She had already begun to weep” (15). Grete is also dependent on Gregor, as he supplies the money that the...

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