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The Metamorphosis, By Franz Kafka Essay

2262 words - 9 pages

How individuals think about their identity and how they respond to others is a person’s self-concept. Various factors in an individual’s life can have a negative or positive affect on their self-concept. Focusing on negative self-concept, we can see reoccurring variables in their social environment that can trigger depressive symptoms. Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, begins when Gregor has awakened from his disturbed dream as a dung beetle. Gregor, the main character and Kafka himself, experienced insecure behavior, alienation and depression in their relationships. For Gregor, these symptoms had a tremendous effect on his self-concept: it led to a depressive and desolate end. Kafka’s misery in his real life was reflected in the Gregor‘s transformation. The Metamorphosis exposes the outcome of negative self-concept from Gregor’s feelings from his relationships, alienation and loss of communication. This essay will be able to provide evidence by describing the relationships both in Gregor’s and Kafka’s life, how their relationships and form of attachment triggers alienation, and the loss in communication can create a self-concept as belittling as a dung beetle.
People obtain many of their social characteristics and personal attributes from the relationships in their live. These traits stem from how individuals were treated and how they respond to security in the attachment from relationships. According to the article Mary Ainsworth by Saul McLeod, this is the skeletal blueprint for the attachment theory. In Kafka’s and Gregor’s the type of attachment represented is, avoidant insecure attachment. An avoidant-insecure attached individual is “independent of the attachment figure both physically and emotionally,” whether or not the individual is physically involved there is not real intimate and emotional connection within the relationship (McLeod NP). Kafka’s relationships with his family and with women demonstrate an avoidant insecure attachment. In the article “Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka” written by Allan Beveridge, Kafka felt “estranged” from society and his relationships (Beveridge 459). In The Metamorphosis, Gregor feels significantly inferior to his entire family: “[he] recoiled at his father’s brazen self-confidence” which made him “[feel] uneasy in his own body” (Beveridge 459).This feeling of insignificance parallels to his metamorphosis into vile vermin. Kafka’s relationship with his father was avoidant and throughout his adolescence and early adulthood his depressive symptoms and negative self-concept reflect the avoidant attachment. In the biography “Franz Kafka,” written by Veronica Loveday, Kafka’s upbringing could be described as a tormented one; “feeling oppressed by his domineering father … [who] had high expectations for his son, was intimidating” (Loveday np). His father was an accomplished business man and like most fathers, had some hope that his son would continue in his footsteps. After Kafka’s graduation, he began to work...

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