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The Metamorphosis: Mother’s Inner Monologue

My poor child, turned into some monstrous vermin, has been gravely injured by my husband! Seeing him towering over Gregor, slowly lifting the black sole of his shoe to end our son’s life… My asthma has made this situation altogether worse. Where are his affections for Gregor? Recently, I had visited his den, a small cove with sticky green slime dripping from the sides of the walls, and found no Gregor. He probably hid; I would have called to him, but his mind certainly has become bug-like. I then thoroughly cleaned his room, but my husband and daughter reproached me for it. Because every start I make towards Gregor’s room leads to protests by my husband and daughter, I devote my time to them instead. I feel happy with my husband, so strong, firm, powerful, and my daughter, compassionate and emotional. She is not the useless daughter my husband had said.
Soon after Gregor’s unfortunate transformation, I became obliged to find a job. As a worker at a fashion shop, I make a small living. Barely do I make any money – compared to the income we made before Gregor’s metamorphosis.

One day, at the hushed dinner table where we ate quietly and with slow, deliberate movements, Herr Samsa mentioned that if the family were to enjoy their present economic state, they would need to rent a room in the apartment. My pale-faced girl, weak from fatigue from continually sobbing, questioned whether it was too risky, regarding Gregor’s presence in the vicinity. Herr Samsa, though, forcefully said that a room must be rented.

Some days later, three lodgers arrived, all men. They always stayed together, all wearing similar enormous black coats and similar brown top hats. My sight fails me sometimes, and seeing them from a distance, they looked like one being: a black body with four arms, three heads and six feet. I remembered Gregor, and felt tears roll down my cheeks. Grete approached them warmly, and escorted them around the apartment. The men’s eyes scrutinized every inch of our dwelling, once and a while taking a finger and wiping it across some furniture for any evidence of grime.

The family no longer eats at the dinner table; we eat in the kitchen. In addition, we were required to supply them with their daily meals. They were handsome enough, though: they could stay for a while, especially since we were being paid a large fee. Grete would gleam at them when she passed by them, rosy cheeked and carefree. At the kitchen table a few days afterward, my daughter played the violin for us. I heard noises from outside the kitchen door, and afterwards the three lodgers came in, requesting to hear the sweet music at the side of the dinner table. She obliged, and played at the new location. From the corner of my eye, I saw Gregor’s door creak, and Gregor slowly step outside. The poor thing! The decaying apple in his back had caused a huge, red inflation. His weak, carious legs kept trembling. But staring at those long antennas, groping around, and the dust floating freely onto the neatly kept floor makes one very upset. The vermin! He should know to stay inside his room! I tried to block their vision of the beast, but the lodgers saw him anyway. When the middle-gentlemen pointed his finger at Gregor, I knew that this would be the end. Heaving violent gasps of air, I practically fainted. When my gasps subsided, I saw Grete speaking to my husband in front of me. She was saying that this bug was in fact never Gregor, but a beast. Her reasoning was that if the bug was Gregor he would have left us or died. I was forced to agree. She was right; why would Gregor stay and keep his family in such agony? She then slammed the door on Gregor when he entered his room.

The next day, the charwoman told us that Gregor was dead. Dead! Disbelieving, I went into his room, with my husband next to me, and my daughter on his right side. Staring, Grete gave the carcass a shove with her foot. He was dead. The lodgers soon came out, demanding breakfast, but Herr Samsa shoved them out the door. Then, we took a long-needed vacation into the countryside. By train, we looked happily at each other as we reexamined our prospects. In fact, our jobs were much better than we had thought before. As we saw Grete stretch, her young, shapely, lively body curving beneath her clothing, my husband and I knew that we should begin seeking a husband for her.



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Mike6546 said...
Mar. 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm
I love The Metamorphosis, first of all, and I was really glad to see something inspired by it.  Kafka's writing is pretty tough to imitate, but you did it pretty well.  It wasn't very insightful, but still worth the read.  I wish you would have mentioned them mom and Grete trying to move Gregor's furniture, that was probably my favorite part.  All in all it was pretty good.
 
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