To Live in a Vermin’s World: A Marxist View of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

To Live in a Vermin’s World: A Marxist View of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

Length: 2063 words (5.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

To Live in a Vermin’s World: A Marxist View of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

One of the honors for ‘greatest theories’ in contemporary civilization has to be awarded to Marxism. Invented in late 19th century by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Marxism has had great influences on the development of modern society. Despite its eventual failure, Marxism once led to numerous revolutions that working classes raised against the ruling parties in different countries. Consequently, it paved the way for the erection of the Berlin Wall, the formation of the Warsaw Treaties—communist camp confronting NATO, and the establishment of a world super power, the Soviet Union at the dawn of this century. Even decades later, after all those Marxist milestones have collapsed, China, with one fifth of world’s population, still faithfully believes in this theory. It is certain, then, Marxism’s effect on people’s thoughts is deep and profound. It is natural for people living in the birthplace and at the birth time of Marxism, Franz Kafka for instance, to have been affected by this theory to a greater extent.

As an author, Kafka’s affiliation with Marxism was revealed in his novella, The Metamorphosis. It tells about a German travelling salesman Gregor Samsa, who awoke one morning only to find himself transformed into a bug. Thereafter, Gregor was soon deprived of his job and was no longer able to financially support his family as he had been. Confronted with this sudden change, the family members started to discard Gregor one after the other. Not only the father, who was eager to get rid of his bug-shaped ‘son’ right after Gregor’s disaster, his mother and sister finally retracted all their love and care as well. Ending with Gregor’s miserable death, ...


... middle of paper ...


...ncy of interest lies in the fact that Gregor’s family members have to sacrifice leisure and go on work after his transformation while Gregor himself switches from a provider to a consumer. Thus, it is easy to observe a match between Gregor’s outcome and that of proletarians.

Gregor is not a bug physically, but mentally he is. A story about his denial of a life in oppression, Gregor’s metamorphosis is as well a story about his pursuit of a life with fairness. Marked by Marxist characteristics, the transformation conforms to a proletarian struggle in that they have 1) like motives--unjust social and economic position; 2) like natures—both the target and the form; and 3) like outcomes--a wretched collapse. Though noticed and commented on by few critics, Marxist thoughts are clearly presented by Kafka in terms of Gregor’s decisive turning: to live in a vermin’s world.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Marxist Lens Analysis of Kafka's Metamorphosis Essay examples

- Marxist Lens Analysis of the Metamorphosis Alyssa Chacon Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is a novella that follows the story of Gregor Samsa who, one day, wakes up as an insect. On the surface, it’s just a story about a man who’s transformed into a bug; but, when deeper analyzed, you come to understand that it’s a about a man who was always a bug conflicted by his identity in a class struggle between what is known as the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Kafka’s work was written in a time in history when the struggles between the classes were becoming more defined due to the rise of industrialization and other changing social structures....   [tags: character and literary analysis]

Powerful Essays
1307 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about Marxist Perspective on Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

- Marxist Perspective on Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis On the surface, Franz Kafka's 1916 novella, The Metamorphosis, seems to be just a tale of a man who woke up one morning to find himself transformed into an insect. But, a closer reading with Marx and Engel's economic theories in mind reveals an overarching metaphor that gives the improbable story a great deal of relevance to the structure of society. Gregor Samsa, the protagonist, signifies the proletariat, or the working class, and his unnamed manager represents the bourgeoisie....   [tags: Metamorphosis essays Kafka Marx]

Powerful Essays
1813 words (5.2 pages)

Examining The Metamorphosis From a Marxist Perspective Essay

- One of the saddest aspects of Franz Kafka's novella, The Metamorphosis, concerns the fact that young Gregor Samsa genuinely cares about this family, working hard to support them, even though they do little for themselves. On the surface, Kafka's 1916 novella, seems to be just a tale of Gregor morphing into a cockroach, but a closer reading with Marx and Engels' economic theories , unveils an impressive metaphor that gives the improbable story a great deal of relevance to the structure of Marxist society....   [tags: Franz Kafka]

Powerful Essays
1201 words (3.4 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]

Powerful Essays
1497 words (4.3 pages)

Marxist Vs. Marxist Theory Essay examples

- This economic study will define the dilution and variability of Marxist and Neo-Marxist Theory in the post-WWII era. The slow dilution of Marxist theory as a 19th century economic concept defines the rise of capitalism and the neoliberal ideology that has permeated the latter half of the 20th century. The fall of communism in the late 1980s reveals the bankruptcy of communism as a state ideology in the U.S.S.R., especially after the Unite States and other first world nations triumphed through the neoliberal capitalist ideology of the 1990s and into the 21st century....   [tags: Marxism, Sociology, Capitalism, Karl Marx]

Powerful Essays
1251 words (3.6 pages)

The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka Essay

- Capitalistic Society and Alienation in The Metamorphosis The human psyche is a fragile and complicated entity. In the text, The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka introduces Gregor Samsa, a travelling salesman that wakes up to find himself turned into an insect. There are no rhetoric or complications with the assessment. There is never an explanation given as to why this transformation or metamorphosis has occurred. Thus, due to Samsa’s transformation, Gregor Samsa is continuously isolated from the rest of his family who in turn, isolate Samsa even more as time passes....   [tags: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Capitalism]

Powerful Essays
1655 words (4.7 pages)

Franz Kafka's Novella, The Metamorphosis Essay

- One of the saddest aspects of Franz Kafka's novella, The Metamorphosis, concerns the fact that young Gregor Samsa genuinely cares about this family, working hard to support them, even though they do little for themselves. On the surface, Kafka's 1916 novella, seems to be just a tale of Gregor morphing into a cockroach, but, a closer reading with Marx and Engels economic theories in mind, reveals an imposing metaphor that gives the improbable story a great deal of relevance to the structure of Marxist society....   [tags: Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis]

Powerful Essays
1197 words (3.4 pages)

Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis Essays

- The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is a classic piece of literature. This masterpiece of stunning psychological, sociological and existential angst has blessed the minds of readers since it was written in 1912. It is the story of Gregor Samsa, a hardworking man trying to pay off the debt of his family, but transforms into a vermin, (bug). There are many parallels of Kafka’s life to Gregor’s in Metamorphosis. Both Kafka and Gregor were in family and social discord, and a bureaucracy of a work world....   [tags: Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis]

Powerful Essays
1455 words (4.2 pages)

Essay about The Trial by Franz Kafka as an Autobiography

- The Trial by Franz Kafka as an Autobiography      Franz Kafka was a very intelligent writer of his times. Kafka was born in Austro-Czechoslovakia. He was mainly a writer of short stories, and complex diaries, yet he did publish a small number of novels. The works of Kafka have been interpreted as allegorical, autobiographical, psychoanalytical, Marxist, religious, existentialist, expressional, and naturalist. His novels have a wide variety of interpretations. Of his novels, The Trial is one of the more complex in aspects of literature (Bryfonski and Hall 288)....   [tags: Trial Franz Kafka Essays]

Powerful Essays
2050 words (5.9 pages)

Essay about Kafka's The Trial

- Kafka's The Trial Comparing Franz Kafka with a more modern author, such as J.K. Rowling, is much like comparing Wilt Chamberlain to Kobe Bryant. It is extremely difficult to compare these two NBA stars when they played sixty years apart from one another. There are so many factors to consider including: the quality of coaching, competition, etc....   [tags: Kafka Trial]

Free Essays
1199 words (3.4 pages)