The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka Essay

The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka Essay

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Franz Kafka’s work of fiction, The Metamorphosis, is one of the most striking pieces of literature due to his unique writing style, going so far as to coin the term Kafkaesque. This vivid story is so magnifying because it depicts the realities which Kafka experienced in his personal life. The author uses his fictional work as a tool to express themes such as the father-son relationship, isolation, and physical and mental illness.

The first theme that Kafka’s fictional story touches upon is that of the Father-son relationship. Ever since Franz Kafka’s childhood, his father cast a vast shadow on the canvas of his life. The recurring scenes of the strained exchanges between Gregor and Mr. Samsa portray the experience Kafka had with his father-figure. From the moment we meet Gregor Samsa’s father we are shown how short tempered he is. He "came on, hissing like a wild man" when Gregor first came out of his room in the form of an insect. Gregor’s father chased after him with a cane and newspaper making a hissing noise that annoyed Gregor. This is meant to represent Kafka’s father’s temper in real life, as he often abused his son because he was a failure in his eyes. In the a previous scene, Mr. Samsa apologizes for his son to the chief clerk: “ He will be good enough to excuse the untidiness of your room” which shows that Gregor’s father is ashamed of him, just as Hermann Kafka was often ashamed of his son in real life. Mr. Samsa shows numerous displays of violence when he first encounters Gregro in his transformed state. When he chased Gregor back to his room, he kicked him in the back as he reached the door. Mr. Samsa also threw an apple, which lodged in his son’s back. These scenes of physical violence within Kafka’s story are meant...


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...n, unwanted, reviled. Kafka demonstrates this in his unpublished “Letter to His Father,” where he refers to himself as “Ungeziefer,”˚ that is translated specifically as vermin. This shows that Kafka used Gregor as a puppet to express the burden he felt himself to be in his work, The Metamorphosis.

Clearly, Franz Kafka used The Metamorphosis as a tool to express dominant themes which were present in his own life. These themes include that of the father son relationship shared between Gregor and Mr. Samsa/ Franz and Hermann Kafka, the theme of isolation, and the theme of illness.These themes expressed circumstances in vivid detail in order to communicate the personal pain that Franz felt like he could not share with anybody else during his lifetime. Whether done unconsciously or not, Franz Kafka painted a story that isn’t as fictional as we would all like to believe.

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