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Existentialism in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

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Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis is a masterfully written short story about Gregor Samsa, a man who devotes his life to his family and work, for nothing in return.  Only when he is transformed into a helpless beetle does he begin to develop a self-identity and understanding of the relationships around him.  The underlying theme of The Metamorphosis is an existential view that says any given choice will govern the later course of a person's life, and that the person has ultimate will over making choices.  In this case, Gregor?s lack of identity has caused him to be numb to everything around him.


    One morning, Gregor awakens to find himself with the body of a beetle.  Although it never explains how Gregor morphed into a beetle, or shows that Gregor gives much thought to having the body of an insect, Kafka gives the strong impression that Gregor is extremely devoted to his work and is the sole support for his family, none of whom work themselves.  Gregor devoted himself to a life of work and self sacrifice, following ...

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