This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Franz Kafka's Life Reflected In His Work, The Metamorphosis

2376 words - 10 pages

Franz Kafka's Life Reflected in his Work, The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis written by Franz Kafka is considered one of the few great, poetic works of the twentieth century. Addressing The Metamorphosis, Elias Canetti, a Nobel Prize-winning author, has commented, "In The Metamorphosis Kafka has reached the height of his mastery: he has written something which he could never surpass, because there is nothing which The Metamorphosis could be surpassed by - one of the few great, perfect poetic works of this century" (http://www.mala.bc.ca/~mcneil/m4lec5a.htm). There are many symbolisms and parallelisms used in the story. "[Kafka's] disturbing, symbolic fiction, especially The Metamorphosis, written in German, [not] only prefigures the oppression and despair of the late 20th century" but also is an account of the dramatic transformations that had occurred during his own life ("Kafka Franz", Funk?, 2000). This beautifully written masterpiece of Kafka's is clearly symbolic of his own life and nightmare-like life experiences he had with his father.

"Suppose all that you have always valued in your life was shown to be an illusion. What if your precious beliefs, maxims, platitudes, and traditions were inverted and distorted beyond recognition? You suddenly realize that what is good is bad; what is beauty is foul; what is virtue, vice. What if all your points of reference were to shift: North becomes South; black becomes white; deviant becomes saint; saint becomes deviant. Suppose that this transformation - a metamorphosis of perception - were to come to you and you alone. Suddenly you awake, and in utter solitude you discover that your values have reversed along with you: you are a roach!" (http://www.vr.net/~herzogbr/kafka/). Your world is abruptly and totally changed! This is Gregor portrayed in Kafka's The Metamorphosis.

With the opening of the story, Kafka right away jumps into the woken yet uneasy dreamy state of Gregor, a young commercial traveler. With the rise of Gregor, Kafka describes the dull, gloomy and humid environment that foreshadows the decay and deterioration of Gregor's life. As soon as Gregor opens his eyes, he finds himself positioned in an uncomfortable manner and transformed into a monstrous vermin or a gigantic insect, a worthless creature, with his hard armor-plated back lying on the bed: "He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his dome-like belly divided into stiff arched segments?" (Kafka 296). With this arresting opening, Kafka has set his mysterious psychological fantasy in motion. He plainly describes Gregor's uneasiness of keeping himself balanced in his bed. "His numerous pitifully thin legs waved helplessly in the air before his eyes" (296). Just so the readers are not left in confusion, Gregor asserts that "It was not a dream," and sees for himself, in disbelief, that he is still in his own regular human bedroom, with a collection of cloth...

Find Another Essay On Franz Kafka's Life Reflected in his Work, The Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis of the Family in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

1171 words - 5 pages The Metamorphosis of the Family Before the caterpillar can transform into a butterfly, it must go through a metamorphosis. The cocoon in which the caterpillar hibernates is in fact just a conveyance towards another life form. Gregor, in Franz Kafka's novella The Metamorphosis, is similarly a vehicle for such an important transformation, in this case the reformation of his family. The metamorphosis of Gregor facilitates the gradual change

The Metamorphosis as a Depiction of Franz Kafka's Life

1189 words - 5 pages The Metamorphosis as a Depiction of Franz Kafka's Life The Metamorphosis is said to be one of Franz Kafka's best works of literature. It shows the difficulties of living in a modern society and the struggle for acceptance of others when in a time of need. In this novel Kafka directly reflects upon many of the negative aspects of his personal life, both mentally and physically. The relationship between Gregor and his father is in many ways

This paper is about Franz Kafka's role in "The Metamorphosis."

1191 words - 5 pages both Franz Kafka and Gregor Samsa. On page 21 of "The Metamorphosis," Gregor Samsa is describing his room, when he comes across "a photograph of Gregor that dated from his military service, showing him as a lieutenant, hand on sword, with a carefree smile" (Kafka 21). Clearly the military was a large part of Gregor's life. Franz Kafka, however, did not serve in the military, but he was inspired by it. One of Kafka's novels, the Penal Colony, "is a

Existentialism in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis and The Hunger Artist

1515 words - 6 pages for the hunger artist, work is so much of a compulsion that he cannot stop doing it, as he tells the overseer at the circus while dying.   Kafka also uses the existential idea that man's fate is sometimes beyond man's control. In his stories, chance or destiny rules man's life. Gregor could not control his metamorphosis, just as he cannot control his "new" legs which "waved helplessly before his eyes" (1). The hunger artist's fate

Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis

2582 words - 10 pages THE METAMORPHOSIS In the opening lines of German author Franz Kafkas’ short story narrative “The Metamorphosis”, the protagonist Gregor Samsa a disgruntled traveling salesman who lives with and supports his parents and little sister, awakens from a night of unpleasant dreams to find that he has been metamorphosed into a cockroach he calls a “monstrous vermin” (Kafka, page 89). This particularly strange opening sets the stage for in my opinion

Social Analysis of Franz Kafka's the Metamorphosis

3867 words - 15 pages Social Analysis of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka was not Jewish; Franz Kafka was not Czech, Franz Kafka only identified himself by his own perception of life, and a reality of his own creation. Kafka's family, a prosperous middle class home of economic strivers, embraced the German Jewish circles of Prague, seeking to assimilate with language and Jewish culture. Kafka, in the traditional manner he is remembered, was born into a

Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis": A Report

1707 words - 7 pages Given a copy of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, interpretation proves to be a challenge because his profound use of language establishes symbolic significance that is tough to decipher. "The Metamorphosis can be seen as an intensely introspective work, relating to itself and providing Gregor Samsa as a concrete metaphor for metaphor itself" (Way 267). Kafka's pessimistic view on society and the struggle to find one's identity are overriding

Marxist Perspective on Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

1802 words - 7 pages represent. Then, he details Gregor's metamorphosis and the way in which it impedes his labor. Finally, he describes the final results of the worker's inability to work: abandonment by his family and death. Although a man cannot literally be transformed into an insect, he can, for one reason or another, become unable to work. Kafka's novella, therefore, is a fantastic portrayal of a realistic scenario and provides us with a valuable insight into the

Analysis of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

1746 words - 7 pages Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis is so strikingly absurd that it has engendered countless essays dissecting every possible rational and irrational aspect of the book. One such essay is entitled "Kafka's Obscurity" by Ralph Freedman in which he delves down into the pages of The Metamorphosis and ferrets out the esoteric aspects of Kafka's writing. Freedman postulates that Gregor Samsa progresses through several transformations: a transformation of

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

853 words - 3 pages 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

Aimee Bender's The Rememberer and Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

1063 words - 4 pages The characters in Aimee Bender's “The Rememberer” and Franz Kafka's “The Metamorphosis” are all adjusting to life after their love ones started to change. On each story the characters behaviors change and the reaction to each citation take a different perspective on life. Bender’s “The Rememberer” the narrator and Ben are lovers presenting a physical and intellectual connection to each other sadness “He was always sad about the word. It was a

Similar Essays

Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis Essay

1189 words - 5 pages In this paper I will interpret the short story, The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka. My purpose is to explain to my classmates the short story’s goal what Kafka wanted to transmit to people. I want to expand more why this short story is considered one of the best poetic imagination works. In my research I expect to use Kafka’s work, The Metamorphosis as my primary source. Important other sources include essay critiques from

Standards In Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

855 words - 3 pages In Franz Kafka’s story The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa falls victim, to some strange affliction which somehow turns him into a colossal insect of some sort. His bizarre and tragic story takes place in a European apartment in the early twentieth century; a time in which much stock was placed in both etiquette and the appearance of propriety. These standards found throughout the society in which he is placed leads to his ultimate downfall

A Portrait Of Franz Kafka's Life In His Fictional Story, Metamorphosis

1506 words - 6 pages A Portrait of Franz Kafka's Life in his Fictional Story, Metamorphosis Franz Kafka seems to have had a tough time growing up with his father, who was apparently a domineering, unapproachable man. A few years before Franz's untimely death, he wrote a long letter to his father in an attempt to address many of the lingering issues which had plagued their relationship. He may have tried through his fictional writing to reach his father prior to

Franz Kafka's Novella, The Metamorphosis Essay

1395 words - 6 pages ). Gregor's father felt relief of the economic burden of supporting his son. Although the exact story told in Kafka's The Metamorphosis could not occur outside the realm of fantasy, it represents the real scenario of a worker being abandoned by his employer and family after becoming unable to work and support them financially. By looking at the novella from a Marxist perspective, we see that the underlying theme of the story is a conflict between