Analysis Of Kafka 's ' The Metamorphosis ' Essay

Analysis Of Kafka 's ' The Metamorphosis ' Essay

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The Metamorphosis is a novella byFranz Kafka, first published in 1915. It has been called one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century and is studied in colleges and universities across the Western world.

The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed (metamorphosed) into a large, monstrous insect-like creature. The cause of Gregor 's transformation is never revealed, and Kafka himself never gave an explanation. The rest of Kafka 's novella deals with Gregor 's attempts to adjust to his new condition as he deals with being burdensome to his parents and sister, who are repelled by the horrible, verminous creature Gregor has become.


Popular culture often portrays the contrast between functional and dysfunctional families to outline the factors that contribute to their formation. In a similar pursuit, Kafka identifies one significant ingredient in the establishment of a healthy family. In The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka employs symbols, imagery, and settings to emphasize that a family organization where equally-shared responsibilities prevail is more effective in maintaining a positive domestic atmosphere.

Using symbols, Kafka illustrates that imbalance in family responsibility results in resentment and hatred. In Part I of the novella, when the financial security of the family is based only on Gregor’s income, Gregor adopts the precaution “of locking all the doors during the night even at home” . Because Gregor is not working for himself but to pay the family’s debt, he is unsatisfied with his occupation. In this quote, the lock symbolizes Gregor’s wish to isolate himself from his family and society due to his anger. This symbol illustrates the inevitable frustrati...

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...e mood of the story to the current family status of the Samsas to suggest that equilibrium is critical in a family.
Throughout The Metamorphosis, symbols, imagery, and settings are used to develop Kafka’s message about domestic stability. By integrating these literary devices, he implies that in order to achieve a healthy family atmosphere, all members must contribute equally to common causes. Kafka uses symbols to contrast the difference in mood between the unequal and equal shares in financial responsibility of the Samsa’s family. He also uses imagery and settings to provide a transition between positive and negative polarities as a result of the shift towards equilibrium of responsibility. In conclusion, through his exploitation of symbols, imagery, and settings, Kafka develops the theme that it is necessary to have equal responsibility to maintain a lively family.

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