Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

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Franz Kafka’s, The Metamorphosis, is a novella about Gregor Samsa, a man who devotes everything to fulfilling the needs of his family. Kafka’s existentialist perspective on the meaning of life is illustrated through the use of the protagonist of Gregor Samsa. Existentialism is a philosophy concerned with finding self and the meaning of life through free will, choice, and personal responsibility (Existentialism). Gregor is unable to fulfill the existentialist view of finding meaning in one’s life; he acted according to what his family wanted. Kafka’s belief that there is no meaning to life and that the individual has to create his own meaning in life is entirely missed by Gregor. Kafka uses the juxtaposing mindsets of Gregor and his family members to express the importance of an individual fulfilling his own needs.
The protagonist of Gregor is meant to resemble Franz Kafka. Out of sense of duty to his parents, Kafka took jobs that he did not enjoy. His relationship with his father remained strained throughout his life; his father’s impact can be seen in much of Kafka’s writing (Kafka Birthday: A Letter From Franz Kafka To His Father). Gregor’s relationship with his father is similar to Kafka’s relationship with his father. For most of Kafka’s life, he did not live to fulfill his own needs; Kafka was living under his father’s expectations. He was under enormous pressure to become a successful businessman like his father, but Kafka had a profound love for literature which went against his father mindset; hence, the strained relationship between Kafka and his father (Kafka Birthday: A Letter From Franz Kafka To His Father). Franz Kafka had two younger brothers, Georg and Heinrich; unfortunately they both died leaving Kafka as the only...

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... treated wrong, he becomes “filled with anger over the wretched care that he was getting” (Kafka 71). Gregor realizes that he can’t rely on anyone but himself. Everything that one does in his or her lifetime is should be to achieve self-fulfillment. An individual fulfilling his or her own needs is essential for them to live a satisfied life and meaningful life. No one else can bring meaning into a person’s life

Works Cited

"Existentialism." N.p., n.d. Web. 06 May 2014.
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Kafka, Franz, and A. L. Lloyd. Metamorphosis. New York: Vanguard, 1946. Print.
"Kafka's Life (1883-1924)." The Kafka Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2014.
Triska, Zoë. "Kafka Birthday: A Letter From Franz Kafka To His Father." The Huffington Post., 03 July 2013. Web. 08 May 2014.
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