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Metamorphosis Symbolism Essay

730 words - 3 pages

The Metamorphosis a novella written by Franz Kafkas has many symbolic aspects. It is the story of a travelling salesman who is tired of his job and suffers a major transformation into a vermin, it being the main symbol. There are many meanings behind his metamorphosis which symbolize: exploitation, wishful thinking and escapism.
Firstly, Gregor’s transformation into a bug symbolizes exploitation. He transforms into an insect which are usually known to be walked all over and mistreated. They are at the bottom of the food chain and no one tends to care about them; this depicts Gregor’s life perfectly. Gregor’s role in the family is being the provider; he works everyday to pay off his parents’ debt. “Well, there's still hope; once I've saved enough money to pay back my parents' debts to him” (Kafkas 5) He is mistreated at home by his family members even though he is the only one supporting the family. At work he is always pushed to work more, he works long hours and barely has and free time. “Oh God, he thought, what an exhausting job I've picked out for… always new and never become intimate friends.” (Kafkas 6) These are very similar characteristics to an insect, that’s why Kafkas chose an insect; he turned into a vermin version of his human self. He was always treated lesser than humans, unappreciated for all the hard work he was doing and kept receiving additional pressure. A vermin was the perfect transformation for Gregor; a socially non acceptable version of himself.
Secondly, his transformation symbolizes wishful thinking. At the beginning of the novella, Gregor goes on about how stressful his life is with all the work load he has, he is fed up with everything “To the devil with it all!” (Kafkas 4) He wants something different, change, a less stressful job or even a new life itself; oddly enough his wish comes true. This “new life” of his wasn’t what he pictured at all, this is where wishful thinking comes into play. “Be careful what you wish for.” is the best way to describe what happened to Gregor. He...

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