Metamorphosis by Frans Kafka Essay

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When considering the title ‘Metamorphosis,’ there are two definitions that can be drawn from this which can be used to foreshadow the outcome Gregor’s life in Kafka’s story. The first one is “the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in two or more distinct stages” (Oxford Dictionary, 2014). This meaning can be used to foreshadow the financial responsibility that Gregor is given by his family. Here we see his transformation from a young man into an adult who has responsibilities that extend further than him. The next definition that can be used to show the outcome of this story is “a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means” (Oxford Dictionary, 2014). This definition can be used to predict the transformation that Gregor suffers when turning into a vermin or cockroach. Throughout this piece, the characters innate sense of humanity is tested through Gregor’s metamorphosis, neglect and seclusion and through this transformation, their real personas are revealed.
The main character of the novel is Gregor Samsa who is forced to endure a horrific transformation of his physical appearance. The neglect that his family members extend to him throughout his conversion finally ends with his complete alienation from his family. The story starts off with the struggles that Gregor faces getting used to his new body, Kafka described him as “he lay on his tough armored back” (Kafka, 2012). This can be used as a metaphor for all the stress and pressure that he felt from his family and job. His tough armored back is a reference to the amount of ‘weight’ that he has on his shoulders and the strength that he exudes to try and bring his family out of...

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...cast or a burden of some sort which is exactly what Gregor becomes through his transformation in Kafka’s Metamorphosis. He is not only aliened by the general public but by his own family. Although his sister, Grete, and his mother show him sympathy for his condition in the beginning, that remorse quickly fades into loathing due to the extra burden that he becomes to his family. When Gregor dies in the end of the story, there is still no compassion or recognition from his family, just relief of being rid of him.

1. Kafka, Franz. "The Metamorphosis." The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Ed.
Martin Puchner, et al. 3rd ed. Vol. F. New York: WW Norton &, 2012. 210-241.
2. "Definition of Metamorphosis in English:." Metamorphosis: Definition of Metamorphosis in Oxford Dictionary (American English) (US). N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2014.

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