Comparing Franz Kafka and Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis Essay

Comparing Franz Kafka and Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis Essay

Length: 1562 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Similarities between Franz Kafka and Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis

It is unusual to say the least to open a book and the first line is about the main character waking up as a large insect. Most authors’ use symbolism to relate the theme of their work, not Franz Kafka. He uses a writing method that voids all aspects and elements of the story that defy interpretation. In doing this, he leaves a simple story that stands only for an objective view for his own thoughts and dreams. Kafka focuses the readers’ attention on a single character that symbolizes himself and his life, not Everyman as some authors do. This method is displayed in most of his literary works. To understand how this method is recognized, readers must study the author’s background during the period of writing and basic history to understand this author’s motive. In his short story, “The Metamorphosis”, there are multiple similarities between Kafka’s true life and Gregor Samsa’s.

Before the similarities are displayed, the justifications behind this premise are as follows. Kafka’s works demonstrates the use of a self-nulling reference system in order to void possibilities of critics attempting to use hermeneutics (Thiher, 50). Hermeneutics is the methodology of interpretation. Examples of this method can be found throughout the story in the use of the realistic and unrealistic elements intertwined in different situations. “Kafka’s Metamorphosis validates contradictory readings that cancel coherent interpretation,” is a quote by confirmed critic Gavriel Ben-Ephraim(451). A specific example can be located in Part I, when Gregor attempts to rise from bed and fails. He thinks to himself, “What a job I’ve chosen.” In truth, he did not h...

... middle of paper ...

..., Gavriel. “Making and Breaking Meaning: Deconstruction, Four-level Allegory and The Metamorphosis.” Midwest Quarterly. 35 (1994): 450-67.

Sources Consulted

“Franz Kafka/The Metamorphosis.” Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database.
Corngold, Stanley, ed. Oct. 2002.New York U. 21 Oct. 2002. .

“Biography/Franz Kafka.” Literature Research Center. 2002. Thomas Gale Group. 21 Oct. 2002. .

Goodwin, Evan. “little blue light-Franz Kafka.” little blue light. 6 May 2002. 13 November 2002. .

Stephens, J. “Franz Kafka’s personal life reflected in the Metamorphosis” The Kafka Project. 1999-2002. 13 November 2002. .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen and The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka Essay

- In the books A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen and The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, the main characters have similar circumstances they experienced in their story. Nora Helmer, the main character in A Doll’s House, is the well-known wife of Torvald Helmer. Nora is protected from living her life and guided by her husband making decisions for her as if she was a doll. She often overlooks the reality of her life with the wealth and materialistic things her husband provides. She is highly intelligent, but rarely thinks for herself....   [tags: Comparing Literature, Character Analysis]

Powerful Essays
1135 words (3.2 pages)

Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis is a Reflection about Himself Essay example

- Have you ever experience a time when you just wanted to vent out your problems, your thought and opinion about your life but succumb to the fact that even the act of venting will not do you justice or help resolve the issues. Or have you ever felt a time when you wanted to express how you feel but instead, you bit your tongue to stop your comments from portraying you in a negative light, or that your truth will cause the people, the ones that matters, to be in a whole lot of hurt. This was the case of Franz Kafka; his inability to physically express his opinions to his family in reality, lead him to intellectually pursue his thoughts and relationship into the imaginary, his writings, as disp...   [tags: biographical and literary analysis]

Powerful Essays
1339 words (3.8 pages)

Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis and James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues Essay

- ... Although the reader does not know what Gregor is specifically transformed into, be it a dung beetle or a bed bug, the metaphor of alienation is still there. It is Kafka’s way of showing a sense of extreme isolation. Kafka in the beginning first shows Gregor as a person we can all relate to. As a working class citizen, he is put in a stressful position of supporting his crisis stricken family. But like a great amount of family members who are old enough to take care of themselves, they have a choice in doing so....   [tags: development of an individual's identity]

Powerful Essays
1813 words (5.2 pages)

Essay about Comparing Christopher McCandless and Gregor Samosa

- In Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction book, Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer wrote about Christopher Johnson McCandless who is an intelligent, rich young man who wants to escape society and has father issues. Likewise, in Franz Kafka’s novel, The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka created Gregor who has father issues and wants to run from society, but is not rich. Both of the characters in both novels want to escape from society, but only Christopher Johnson McCandless escaped from society. Unlike, Gregor, in the novel The Metamorphosis, turns into a bug because he could not escape from society....   [tags: Metamorphosis, Into the Wild]

Powerful Essays
527 words (1.5 pages)

Self-Discovery in Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and Equus by Peter Shaffer

- Through the incorporation of figurative language in both Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and Equus by Peter Shaffer, they set the characters in isolation during the experience of hiding emotions and focusing on other’s needs in order for the undergoing of self-discovery and peace within self. Therefore analyzing the behavior that occurs during the process and the aftermath of their seclusion will determine the success of their accomplishment with the breakthrough of peace. When comparing the two texts along with their historical context of sense of loss and alienation of individuals, the main characters, Gregor Samsa and Alan Strang, undergo the allusion of isolation and finds the understanding...   [tags: compare, contrast, comparison]

Powerful Essays
1356 words (3.9 pages)

The Deprived Gregor Samsa in Metamophosis by Franz Kafka Essay

- In The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka manifests naïveté of Gregor Samsa by prolonging his realization of societal banishment due to underexposure. Revelations made by Samsa later prove his ignorance of his purpose in the eyes of his family. In addition to the many instances in which Gregor is trialed, Kafka’s continuous stream of distractions mimic Gregor’s persona. In sequence, the story progresses into an ultimate partial realization of Gregor’s predicament and its origins. Gregor Samsa’s obliviousness to his daily experiences, in essence, produce his present plight by allowing himself to fall farther from reality....   [tags: Franz Kafka]

Powerful Essays
1022 words (2.9 pages)

Comparing Kafka's Metamorphosis and The Stranger (The Outsider) Essay

- The Metamorphosis and The Stranger (The Outsider)   Existentialism is defined as a philosophical movement that human beings are completely free and responsible for their own actions.  Existentialists will try not to cause waves and remain completely uninvolved with anyone because they do not want to hurt anybody.   There is absolutely no such thing as an existentialist because he would have to be so uninvolved to the point where he would not be able to live at all.  Although the two stories: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and The Stranger by Albert Camus are very different in approach, their endings are similar in that they both support the basics of existentialism.              The...   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
481 words (1.4 pages)

Patriarchy in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis Essay

- Patriarchy in The Metamorphosis Patriarchy, that is, the supremacy of the father in a family and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line, plays a major part in family life. However, the institution of patriarchy is not just limited to European cultures. In this essay, we will examine the instances of patriarchy in "The Metamorphosis" and compare it to instances in Japan. In the beginning of "The Metamorphosis," we can tell from the way Gregor's family is organized that Gregor is the 'father figure,' in that he is the primary breadwinner and the one who makes most of the decisions for his family....   [tags: Metamorphosis essays]

Free Essays
744 words (2.1 pages)

Gregor Samsa's Metamorphosis in The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka Essay

- People want their family to love and support them during times of need, but if they are unable to develop this bond with their family members, they tend to feel alone and depressed. In the novel The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Kafka describes the theme of alienation and its negative effect on people and their relationships with the people around them. This theme can be shown through Gregor Samsa, the main character in The Metamorphosis. After Gregor’s metamorphosis, or transformation, he is turned from a human being into a giant bug which makes him more and more distant from the people in his life....   [tags: Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis]

Powerful Essays
1283 words (3.7 pages)

Gregor's Obsession with Money Exposed in Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis Essay

- Gregor's Obsession with Money Exposed in Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis In his story The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka gives us the story of Gregor Samsa, a young man who wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into an insect-like creature. Gregor, however, remains strangely indifferent to his plight, in a manner that seems inhuman to most readers. This is not due to a lack of omniscience on the narrator's part that causes the indifference to go unmentioned, and neither is it due to inobservance on the part of Gregor to the point of not noticing that he has been changed into an insect....   [tags: Franz Kafka Metamorphosis]

Powerful Essays
844 words (2.4 pages)