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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 similar to Franz and his father Herrman. The Metamorphosis also shows resemblance to some of Kafka's diary entries that depict him imagining his own extinction by dozens of elaborated methods. This paper will look into the text to show how this is a story about the author's personal life portrayed through his dream-like fantasies.

Franz Kafka grew up in a financially secure Jewish family in Prague. He spoke German and was neither a Czech nor German due to his Jewish upbringing. Born in 1883, he was the eldest child and the only son. He lived his life in the shadow of his dominating father under constant pressure to take over the family business. Kafka's father viewed Franz as a failure and disapproved of his writing because he wanted Franz to become a business man like him. This obsession with wanting Franz to become a businessman led Herrman to beat his son. Franz Kafka died on June 3, 1924 from tuberculosis of the larynx.

From the moment we meet Gregor Samsa's father we are shown how short tempered he is. He "came on, hissing like a wild man" when Gregor first exited his room in his new state as a bug. Gregor's father chased after him with a cane and newspaper making a hissing noise that annoyed Gregor. Just this passage here shows how alike Mr. Samsa and Herrman Kafka are. Kafka was subjected to abuse and constant yelling from his father because he was a failure in his eyes. When Samsa sees what has happened to Gregor he is immediately outraged, either out of confusion or disappointment towards his son. His father was retired and his sister was still young and not working. Gregor felt as if he had let down the family because he had provided for them up until this point where he could no longer work. He thought it would be very difficult for his family to be financially secure without him working.

When Franz Kafka was a boy his father abused him. Whenever Kafka disagreed with his father or told his father that he wanted to be a writer, not a shop owner, his father got very upset. In the book Mr. Samsa displayed a violent temper from the very first encounter with the transformed Gregor. When he chased Gregor back to his room, he kicked him in the back as he reached the door. Another event in which Gregor encountered violence from his father was when Mr. Samsa threw an apple at him and it lodged in his back. From this point on the physical and mental condition of Gregor steadily decreased. The apple began to rot away and he felt weaker and experienced more pain than usual. Gregor even lost his...

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