In the beginning of the Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka Grete plays a very important role in the life of Gregor. Grete is portrayed as a loving and devoted sister with an amazing musical talent. Her seemingly strong bond to her brother remains even after Gregor’s transformation. She shows her devotion when she takes sole responsibility as Gregor’s caretaker and only provider. She cleans up after him and assures he is fed each day. By doing this she still seems to care for her brother despite his condition.
It is also Grete that comes up with the idea to move out all of Gregor’s furniture so that he may have more space to move around his room more freely. However as the novel progresses Grete becomes more and more distant and begins to drift away from her brother. One can notice that Grete seems to have done all this work and cared for Gregor only out of family duty rather than for actual human relations. It is almost as though she has to pay back Gregor for all he has done but money is the only reason she is doing this.
This shows us one noticeable theme in this novel: how money drives us as people. Our whole world is based around money just as the case for the Samsas. When Gregor becomes ill he hears his sister weeping in the room next to him and he reasons, thinking “why was she crying? Because he wouldn’t get up and let the chief clerk in, because he was in danger of loosing his job… ” as one can obviously note Gregor automatically assumes that Grete is weeping because of the thought of loosing their income rather than the fact that he is sick.
There seems to also be some resentment between Grete and her brother, for later on when she runs in the room it seems that the first thing she does is open the window and this hurts Gregor very much and this seems to be known by Grete. Grete and most of the family members resent Gregor for taking away from them much of their lives. He took away their spirit almost and made them useless. Grete was thought to be too young to work and almost incapable because of her age and in the end we learn that she is indeed very capable to do work. However it is Grete’s musical talent that seems to play a major role in this book.
Grete could play the violin and was very good at it so as a gift Gregor decided at Christmas he would announce that he was going to send Grete to the conservatory to learn music. Yet this gift is a way for Gregor to feel more like a part of the family again because they would be grateful to him as they had before. Also it was Grete’s music that makes Gregor realize what he had been missing as a human and what he needed in order to be human. In the end it was Grete that stood up for what she thought and truly rid herself from all debt to Gregor. She says: “my dear parents, things can’t go on like this. Perhaps you don’t realize that, but I do.
I won’t utter my brother’s name in the presence of this creature, and all I say is: we must try to get rid of it. We’ve tried to look after it and put up with it as far as it is humanly possible, and I don’t think anyone could reproach us in the slightest. ” With this Grete convinces the rest of the family, along with herself that her debt to Gregor has been paid and that she should no longer have to put herself through this. Overall one may admit that Grete played a very important part in the novel if not because of her music than because she was the one that truly ended the family suffering in a way.
If she had not finally stood up and said something than perhaps Gregor would have went on trying to live as an insect but her words and music touched him in a way that made him truly feel like human. It was this feeling that Gregor longed for and it was one that had not been felt by Gregor in a long time. Without Grete Gregor’s life would not have seemed to be resolved in a sense because he couldn’t have concluded who he really was until he felt a true human emotion like the one he felt towards Grete at the end.