Essay about Fear of Intimacy in Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

Essay about Fear of Intimacy in Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

Length: 1954 words (5.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

I am kind of a paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy. ~ J.D. Salinger

During the course of Kafka’s novella, The Metamorphosis, we see in Gregor Samsa a man who fears the concept of intimacy—most notably with members of the opposite sex. It is important for us to contrast the commonly accepted definition of intimacy against that of Gregor’s. The popular definition deals with the mark of a close association between two parties, may it consist of a physical or emotional connection. Gregor’s definition seems to be a polar opposite to the conventional one; or more simply, he feels the closest connection to the women he can maintain a sizable distance from. We come to a better understanding of Gregor’s definition of intimacy when scrutinizing his relationship with his sister: he feels most intimate with her, although she feels utterly alienated from him. Ironically enough, Gregor tends to long for the women that he is least capable of approaching or coming in contact with, including his mother. The passage in which Gregor’s mother and sister attempt to remove all of the furniture from his room helps to illustrate his fear of intimacy. He immediately clings onto a picture frame of an ornately adorned fashion model, refuses to loosen his grasp, and claims to feel at greatest ease in this position. The irony is that the intimacy established with the model in the picture frame is the furthest thing from a genuine connection or association between man and woman. Therefore, the picture frame is a metaphor of Gregor’s inability to establish conventional intimacy with members of the opposite sex due to his own perception of what intimacy actually means.

Before we proceed in examining the meaning of the pi...


... middle of paper ...


...the deeper layer of his own perception, rather than allowing any of our personal biases to lead us astray through the novella. Gregor was never capable of adhering to our conventional definition of intimacy, as we witnessed in Grete’s hostile reaction to him. And once again, Gregor appears to be at greatest ease with his mother when he is least intimate with her, or rather, farthest away from her. Therefore, our “pretty gilt frame” functions as a metaphor for Gregor’s relationships with women—most notably his mother and sister. For Gregor to feel any sense of ease or comfort, it is necessary for him to place the proper barriers to shield him from the most important women in his life.



Work Cited

Kafka, Franz. “The Metamorphosis,” in The Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony, and Other Stories, trans. Willa and Edwin Muir (New York: Schocken Books, Inc., 1948).

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Metmorphosis In Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis Essay

- Grete’s Metamorphosis People change when things become difficult or they are faced with an unfamiliar situation. This is made very apparent in the novella The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. Throughout the story Grete seems to go through her own metamorphosis. She changes from a nice warm hearted person to a uncaring and cold hearted sister towards Gregor. This is displayed in each part of the story through Kafka's use of diction and symbolism. In the beginning Grete is very kind and caring towards Gregor....   [tags: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Vladimir Nabokov]

Term Papers
912 words (2.6 pages)

The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka Essay example

- In the novel, The Metamorphosis, the author, Franz Kafka, reflects the opinions and experiences of his life into the story by using Gregor Samsa, a traveling businessman, and other characters like Samsa’s father and mother to show the struggles he had throughout his existence. Kafka shows his beliefs about work and jobs in society by making Gregor share his thoughts on this topic. Another aspect of Gregor’s life that is similar to Kafka’s is their relationships with their families, and especially their fathers....   [tags: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Gregor Samsa]

Term Papers
1096 words (3.1 pages)

The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka Essay

- How a man writes reflects what he is. In the novella “The Metamorphosis”, Franz Kafka, the author allowed us a glimpse of himself. In his novella, he wrote about Gregor Samsa, a fictional character, a travelling salesman who wakes up one day to only find himself as a gargantuan cockroach. When his family and the deputy director discover his “transformation” at first, his world became even dimmer than it was already. He is mistreated and seen as a burden to his family, to the point where they were plotting of rid themselves of Gregor; only to find him dead....   [tags: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Gregor Samsa]

Term Papers
990 words (2.8 pages)

The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka Essay

- When first reading a story about a family, the reader typically thinks of the perfect usually family that is portrayed in many movies and television shows to come. The father works and loves his family, the mother is a stay-at-home mom and takes care of the whole family, the son goes to college to make a life for himself, and the daughter goes to school and excels in everything she does. In the short novel The Metamorphosis written by Franz Kafka, the family is not portrayed in this way. The father stays at home and is abusive not only physically but emotionally as well, the mother does stay home but only to take care of the father, their son Gregor is the breadwinner of the family but he...   [tags: Family, The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Abuse]

Term Papers
992 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on The Metamorphosis by Kafka

- Many views of existentialism are exposed in Kafka's Metamorphosis. One of these main views is alienation or estrangement which is demonstrated by Gregor's relationship with his family, his social life, and the way he lives his life after the metamorphosis. Namely, it suggests that man is reduced to an insect by the modern world and his family; human nature is completely self absorbed. Kafka reflects a belief that the more generous and selfless one is, the worse one is treated. This view is in direct conflict with the way things should be; man, specifically Gregor should be treated in accordance to his actions....   [tags: Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis]

Term Papers
1497 words (4.3 pages)

The Metamorphosis Kafka Metamorphosis Essay

- The monster's final soliloquy, after Frankenstein died on the ship, revealed that the monster, contrary to Frankenstein’s belief, never found any sense of justice or satisfaction from enacting revenge. The only thing that could make him happy was finding himself a mate- someone who could accompany him in his wretchedness, and thus mitigate his suffering. Additionally, the monster also acknowledged that what Frankenstein had said all along was true: because of the monster’s actions, he is a wretch....   [tags: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Human]

Term Papers
978 words (2.8 pages)

The Theme of Freedom in Kafka's Metamorphosis Essay

- The Theme of Freedom in Kafka's Metamorphosis One of Franz Kafka's most well-known and most often criticized works is the short story, "Die Verwandlung," or "The Metamorphosis." "The Metamorphosis" is most unusual in that the first sentence is the climax; the rest of the story is mainly falling action (Greenburg 273). The reader learns that Gregor Samsa, the story's main character, has been turned into an enormous insect. Despite this fact, Gregor continues to act and think like any normal human would, which makes the beginning of the story both tragic and comical at the same time....   [tags: Kafka Metamorphosis Essays]

Term Papers
1311 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about Analysis of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

- ‘When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin’. Kafka begins his most famous work of literature with a peculiar yet effective first sentence. The statement is simple in nature but its meaning is much bolder and as a result Kafka is able to grab his readers’ attention. The reader has to contemplate what this could mean and consequently ask ‘why’ such an incident took place. Kafka is very effective in engaging his audience into his text and therefore readers go on to find out more about the peculiar man who turned into a ‘monstrous vermin’....   [tags: Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis]

Free Essays
1050 words (3 pages)

Kafka Metamorphosis Essay

- The world lies on a thick plate of morality, love, sympathy, opinion, and vitality – all of which are contributions to what shapes humanity. Humanity overtime has strengthened in fluctuating wavelengths through infinite trials and tribulations. In ‘The Metamorphosis,’ the protagonist of the novel, Gregor Samsa, transforms into a vile, repulsive insect: a cockroach. This occurrence strikes a test for the Samsa household, playing a role on their behaviors and the meaning of “humanity” itself. Even before Gregor Samsa’s random transformation, Gregor was practically dehumanized by his family members....   [tags: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Human]

Term Papers
1232 words (3.5 pages)

Franz Kafka's Metamorphisis Essay examples

- Gregor Samsa awakes one morning to discover that he has been transformed into a repugnant vermin. One may never know what initiated this makeover, but the simple truth is that Gregor is now a bug, and everyone must learn to live and move on in this strenuous situation. In Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, the characters that interact with Gregor, including his mother, his father, and his sister Grete, must come to terms with his unfortunate metamorphosis, and each does so by reacting in a unique way....   [tags: Franz Kafka Metamorphosis]

Free Essays
958 words (2.7 pages)