Drama by Franz Kafka
Drama is one of the genres in that is film like. It entirely relies on acting on stage for. Or simply it can be said to be a performance on stage. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is one book that is under the genre of drama film. The play has been acted in several stages because it is a kind of rich in various aspects of literature beginning with characterization, stylistic devices used and the themes addressed in the play.
“Alienation is the state of separation of a person from the values of one’s society and family” (S. L. Halleck). In the book Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis, Gregor is alienated from his family at a very young age and is responsible for taking care of his family. He cannot find a possible way out of the problem. He is forced to give up a love relationship where he could possibly bear children and perhaps father children and try lessening his loneliness.
Gregor is responsible of selling textile goods in lonely hotels all night through. When he is not working he alienates himself from his demanding family by staying indoors sleeping. Gregor’s boss also follows all his moves and will even send his clerk to check him if he fails to show up for one day.
Gregor thinks that the solution to his problem is to metamorphose into a huge insect but this alienates him from his family even more. The family members reject him and will not look upon him. When he moves toward them the evening of Grete’s concert, it becomes clear that they want to kill him and he obliges, is killed and alienates himself from them permanently. He is tossed out by the cleaning lady the following morning.
Gregor is overburden by guilt which is the cause of his death. Gregor shows little concern for himself and shows no concern for his life even after finding out one morning that he has been transformed into a gigantic insect and instead, he worries about what will happen to his family now that he cannot get up to go to work. In addition, he is concerned with his boss reaction to the news. Despite having sacrificed his life for his family, he expects nothing in return and feels guilty that Grete is now forced to bring him food. It is his guilt about his appearance that forces him under the couch to avoid her looking at him.
He feels guilty that his father will now have to get a job instead of sitting down all day reading newspapers. He also feels guilty that his mother has to make money by sewing that Grete has to work in a shop. He is rejected by Grete for interfering during her concert. The guilt forces him back into his filthy room to die alone and allow his family can get on with their lives.
Perhaps what Franz is trying to bring out is the way that in the various families guilt comes to a person when some family responsibilities are either avoided by the party. This could be one thing that strongly makes the writing one of the most contemporary art to be performed on stage.
Families and finance
Gregor is confined by his family because he is the one who earns them a living. The whole family with possible exception of his sister seems to treat him not as a member but as a source of income. When Gregor is no longer able to work after his metamorphosis, he is neglected altogether. Once the family begins to work, it becomes difficult for them to communicating with each other, eat dinner in silence and fight amongst them. The exhaustion of dehumanizing jobs and the recognition that people are only valuable so long as they earn a salary keeps anyone who works isolated from others and unable to establish human relations with them. It is obvious that a family cannot run without any funds. Many basic family projects cannot run. No meal can be put on the table. Sick cases in the family cannot be attended no matter how much we love our family members.
To begin with, the play entirely has a story line that keeps around a family that relies on Gregor for the daily bread. So when the story begins, Gregor is not able to wake up on a particular time in the morning. No matter how much he tries to do this, he is not able to get out of bed. The family depends on him for everything. In as much then they try as much as possible to wake him up but this all goes in vain. Due to much failure, the clerk for the company Gregor works for has to come along in order to exempt him from attending the job. The family is like parasites on him.
The father of the family is authoritative though he does not handle situation practically. Grete, the sister has to make sure that Gregor is fed, and stays in a clean environment. This is the reason why she cleans the room every day. This practically could give quick recovery of the wound that has caused Gregor not able to walk. The family kind of seems to be in disunity and there is no harmony. But the truth remains that they have to leave Gregor and go to find job in order to keep feeding him in his clean room
This leads to neglect. They finally leave and Gregor is kind of abandoned in his room. The sign of irresponsibility is seen here! This makes him struggle to find fresh air, food and even look at the direct sky because he cannot walk.
The drama covers various characters. The father is one of the main characters. The father is old. This gives a reason why he should dress in a mature manner. On stage, he is supposed to be long bearded have few gray hairs and always have a cigar. In his hands he should have a walking stick to support him. This gives him the courage and confidence to stand and have a say in any matter affecting the family.
For anything he says, the father should be able to say it in an authoritative voice. He should be the final decision maker and everything should always have a support from those who lived in the past times. Even if something of logic comes, he should be optimistic that whatever he says works. He should rarely change his mind in anything he says. His role should directly show the role of a husband who has natured the children till they are almost mature. So whatever he says should never be disputed by anyone. He should not do any heavy duties but should only advice. The pieces of advice should be based on the moral societal ethics.
Gregor Samsa is another main character in the play. He is the protagonist. Kaflkaz says that he has been a hard working man from the past. But when we meet him, he is not able to get out of bed to attend his daily activities of salesmanship. He is ill and has to be supported in whatever that he has to do because the wound that he has cannot allow him to move from the house. On stage, the character should be sickly. He should never be allowed to walk on his own by other family members who used to depend on him when he was on job.
For Gregor, his tone should be low and like that of someone who is almost dying. He should more use gesture than words. For instance when he wants to call someone he can do it using the hand signal while biting his teeth. His speech can be blurred and always make it repetitive. His movements must be strenuous. At times he can cry to show the pain he is undergoing.
Another character that we come across to in the book is Grete, a younger sister to Gregor. This is the one who nurses the patient (Gregor) after the metamorphosis. She assumes the role of a good caretaker from the start but like most human it dies away. She should really show that love and always give the comfort to his brother in whatever capacity. Since she is a youngster, she can give encouragement quotes from the current generation. However later is the play she has to withdraw from the careful nurse to a careless one who seems to be giving up anytime! This should result from the fact that maybe her patient is not showing any improvements from the wound. She should finally give an excuse of going to find the food-then easily slip away to work.
Mrs. Samsa is another character. She comes in to help Gregor but Gregor’s has noted that he is a bother. So he hides away from her. She should be very loving and use the language of advising. Hers should only be to show-not really to do. The chief clerk should be arrogant and quick. He should not show that he has got a lot of time with people. He stand should be based on employment policies. He should not show mercy to Gregor. His voice should be adamant and should stick to his word. With him, he can carry a file and dress in a uniform. Finally we have the tenants. They should be adamant and strict. They should show greed and the use of their position to gain especially when they are threatening to sue the on the grounds of law.
Kafka uses a style that is simple and straight forward. For instance he tells us that Gregor turned into a bug. In any drama, style becomes very important in building both the play and making look as though it is a reality during stage performance. First, this brings suspense in a big way because they way he mentions this is not clearly shown. And then it is only symbolic to the way in which he depended on everything from the other family members.
To Kaflka, the drama story is kind of reflecting the family ties and alienation during the time when he was starting to write. He tries to show the type of challenges we can encounter in our daily duties. They range from back from the family to right where we work. In short, the environment in which we work in is very important to the services we render. The way each and every character is presented by the author on stage makes the whole writing merit to be a stage performance or just a simple read through.