Essay on The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka

Essay on The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka

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Self-sacrifice is one of the themes conveyed throughout the novella The Metamorphosis. Gregor Samsa seems to be a tragic protagonist, as he feels obliged to take care of the family, yet he is never appreciated. In The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka uses point of view, symbols, and plot to convey that without acknowledgements, self-sacrifice would ultimately lead to tragic self-destruction.

The story develops through a third-person limited omniscient view, as readers are only able to understand it from the perspective of Gregor Samsa, who is the protagonist and the narrator of this work. However, through Gregor’s eyes the story is told with limited emotion and details. With his point of view, readers can easily see Gregor’s self-sacrifices to his family. When Gregor is turned into a bug at the beginning of the story, he is “eager to learn what the others … would say when they saw him” (Kafka 18). He decides that if his family “accept[s] everything calmly, then he, too, would have no cause to be upset”. Gregor is apathetic to his transformations. This is a conclusion that can be drawn from his detached descriptions of his shocking physical change. Yet from here it is also obvious that Gregor desires to know his family’s opinion. After he is turned into a bug, his sacrifices are more revealed to the readers. After his transformation, he finds out that his father has saved a considerable amount of money from the money he brings home every month and from “the old days”(Kafka 30). As the only person who works, Gregor always tries to support the family. This money that father keeps silent of could be used to make him quit the job that he hates much quicker. However instead of acknowledging Gregor’s sacrifices and tries to help him, his fa...


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...dgers. He has almost no humanity at the time; to others Gregor is only a giant bug. Grete eventually declares that “[they] have to get rid of it” (Kafka 47). The declaration can be seen as another climax of the entire text, because it is the family decision that drives Gregor makes his last sacrifice, which is to die. By this time he loses all his human attributes: he is not able to communicate, his body is too injured to move anymore, and he loses his ability to eat long before. At the end, Gregor’s death proclaims the destruction of his individuality and humanity.

Through point of view, symbol and plots, Kafka suggests that the destruction of humanity and individuality, which Gregor suffers in, is composed not only by his self-sacrifices, but also denies to his actions from his family. Gregor’s transformation represents his lost of individuality as a human being.

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