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Acknowledging “The Metamorphosis” By Franz Kafka

1033 words - 5 pages

Lately in politics, many of us have noticed a series of individuals losing power and that resulting in power shifts, most recently in Thailand. In the novella, “The Metamorphosis”, Franz Kafka implies that every society needs a powerful individual to make the society work, if that individual loses power, there will be others that will claim the shifted power; Kafka does this efficiently through characterization, through alienation of that power-less individual, and through a conflict concerning struggle for power.
In his novella, Franz Kafka uses characterization to prove that the characters in the Samsa family will adapt to the situation and start making up to the hole left by Gregor. In particular, the father has adapted to the new situation by getting some work. “With a kind of stubbornness, Gregor’s father refused to take his uniform off even at home; while his nightgown hung unused on its peg Gregor’s father would slumber where he was, fully dressed, as if always ready to serve and expecting to hear the voice of his superior even here.”(p.33-34) Here the father takes on the role of the patriarch of the family and takes a lot of pride in his work and the “responsibility” that he has; this is shown when he changes his appearance from untidy to relatively groom. Grete also has started working as the demand for money in the family rises. “His sister ran back and forth behind her desk at the behest of the customers.” (p.35) The sister has been growing up as the story progresses, as the family is starting to need it, she starts to make money. Last but not least, the mother also starts adapting to the new situation. “The charwoman would do the heaviest work; everything else was looked after by Gregor’s mother on top of the large amount of sewing work she did.” (p.34) The mother has also took on some work, to provide her part to the hole in the budget that Gregor left with his inability to do work. The father, the mother and Grete are ironically pushing Gregor away from their everyday life.
To get his point through, Franz Kafka uses alienation to show how Gregor is being forgotten about and pushed away as he doesn’t serve his purpose in the family anymore. Gregor is being trapped in his room by the door, which symbolizes a barrier between him and his family. “But now, now that he had opened one of the doors and the other had clearly been unlocked some time during the day, no-one came, and the keys were in the other sides.” (p.18) The family doesn’t accept the idea of Gregor being a bug, so they lock the doors to separate their life from Gregor’s. The mother and Grete also are in the process of transforming Gregor’s bedroom into a storage closet by taking away his furniture.”They were emptying his room out; taking away everything that was dear to him; they had already taken out the chest containing his fretsaw and...

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