By Raymond Armstrong
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Extra info for Kafka and Pinter Shadow-Boxing: The Struggle between Father and Son
The fact that the lady is pictured in such an alluring pose is suggestive of the role played by Eve in the temptation of Adam. Perhaps Gregor was attracted to this voluptuous cover-girl because she excited his lower instincts. In any event, she certainly seems to have brought out the beast in him. Moreover, since she is swaddlingly clad in animal skins, the cockroach-teaser appears to be less than entirely human herself. Some commentators have sought to explain the offence of Adam and Eve by linking it with the getting of carnal knowledge.
The fact that we've believed it for so long is the root of all our trouble. But how can it be Gregor? If this were Gregor, he would have realized long ago that human beings can't live with such a creature, and he'd have gone away on his own accord. (CSS 134) Thus Grete proleptically endorses the verdict of the paternal stooge in 'Letter to his Father' and pronounces the parasitic son 'unfit for life' (WPC 216). Significantly, then, it is not his father, but his sister, who sounds the death-knell for Gregor.
17 Implicit in some of the playwright's remarks about this period is a residual feeling of indebtedness to both his parents, and to his father in particular. ] for living in peace and quiet, warmth, and abundance, lacking for nothing, thanks to your hard work. ' 'But for all that, for all that - Father was always Father to me. Ah, nobody knows what that means these days! What do these children know of things? Nobody's been through that! ' (WPC 177-8) Although the dramatist may well have seen several other aspects of his own background magnified and distorted through the lens 42 Kafka and Pinter: Shadow-Boxing of Kafka's epistolary memoir, this parallel is especially interesting, because it may also have provided him with the template for one of the speeches of the patriarch in The Homecoming.