Analysis Of The Metamorphosis

1045 words - 4 pages

Analysis of The Metamorphosis


This story "The Metamorphosis" is about Gregor, a workaholic, who is changed into an insect and must then deal with his present reality. The hardest part of being an insect for him was the alienation from his family, which eventually leads to his death. In reading the short story "The Metamorphosis," (1971),one can realize how small the difference is between Magical Realism and Fantastic. This literature written by the Austrian, Franz Kafka, is often debated over.

The magical elements in this story are obvious like they should be in fantastic literature. It is not often that humans are turned into insects. Another magical element that is not as clear is the unconditional love that Gregor had for his parents and sister after they had long forgotten about him.

The realist elements in this story include about everything else. A characteristic of fantasy is that there is only one magical element in a realistic world. The reaction to the metamorphosis by Gregor's family is probably the most realistic. This includes the way they alienated him and the conditional live they had for him. Most people, like this family, love someone only when it
benefits themselves.
In this fantastic story, the author Franz Kafka uses the metamorphosis to depict how he sees society. Throughout the story, he makes one see society through Gregor's eyes. Kafka portrays society as being fickle and a close-minded one.

The purpose in this story, like all fantastic stories, is told at a deeper level. The purpose of "The Metamorphosis" is to show how people gradually change over time. Gregor, due to his situation with work and his family, was slowly changing into a monster and he did not even know it. People do change over time due to the circumstances of their life. Change usually creeps up on someone (like it did with Gregor), until one morning that someone wakes up realizing who he or she is and is forced to ask, as Gregor did, "What has happened to me?" (89). After someone accepts what he or she have become, that someone and his or her family must deal with it. The rest of the story depicts one's life after this turning point.

Like in all fantastic literature, the relationship between the magical element and the rest of the world causes a huge problem. The world as the characters know it does a 180 degree turn around that Rabkin mentions. The family was completely dependent on Gregor before the metamorphosis. Now Mr. Samsa has a job as a bank guard, Mrs. Samsa sews underwear, and Grete is a saleslady, and the family has nothing to do with Gregor. They turned on him when he needed them. This feeling of worthlessness kills him.

Kafka uses defamiliarization in his fantastic story even though it is a characteristic of magical realism. "Magic Realists use defamiliarization to radically emphasize common elements of reality" (Simpkins 150). Kafka uses defamiliarization through telling the story of Gregor. Gregor, a...

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