Identity In Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis

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Because of the large amount of time adults spend working, it is very easy for them to equate who they are with what they do. Franz Kafka explores this theme of work and identity in his book The Metamorphosis with the characters of Gregor, Gregor’s father, and Grete. Each character’s self-worth changes as their abilities to work or not work changes. Gregor takes a job as a travelling salesman and provides for his family. He hates his job but enjoys being the source of income. He used to be in the army, and then, he loved what he did. When he changes into a bug, he no longer can work and provide. Kafka uses surrealism by having Gregor wake up as an insect. As strange as it sounds, Gregor never questions why he is a bug; instead, he questions
After Gregor’s transformation, Grete starts picking up some slack and taking care of Gregor by feeding him and cleaning his room immaculately. Kafka says, “This is how Gregor received his food each day now, once in the morning while his parents and the maid were still asleep, and the second time after everyone had eaten their meal at midday as his parents would sleep for a little while then as well, and Gregor’s sister would send the maid away on some errand,” (Kafka 21). Grete starts to feel good about herself and her ability to make a difference by something small like feeding Gregor. A job or sense of making a difference can help shape ones identity. In this case, Grete and her father’s self-worth develop as they gain knowledge and experience in the work area. However, since Gregor can no longer work, he loses his confidence. Just like the title means, The Metamorphosis by its title alone lets the reader know that the story deals with change. But while the physical change of Gregor from human to bug is obvious, a deeper change being explored is how one’s senses of identity and worth changes as their work situation

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