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This Paper Is About Franz Kafka's Role In "The Metamorphosis."

1191 words - 5 pages

Often times in literature, authors use their own life experiences to better portray a character and his or her feelings. Franz Kafka is not only the author of "The Metamorphosis," but his role in the story is also as the main character. Gregor Samsa, the protagonist of this fable, is a representation of Franz Kafka in many ways, since the two have much in common. Also, the feelings that Samsa projects towards other characters and situations, such as rejection, are those that Franz Kafka once felt in his lifetime. Furthermore, Franz Kafka uses the people around Gregor Samsa as symbols of the people who affected him in his own life. Therefore, Franz Kafka, the author of "The Metamorphosis," based many elements of the story on his own life and experiences.Many attributes of Gregor Samsa are, at surface level, obviously symbolic of Franz Kafka. For instance, the military greatly affected 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 parable of a torture machine and its operators and victims- equally applicable to a person's inner sense of law, guilt, and retribution to the age of World War I" (Grolier 1). Without a doubt, if Kafka was inspired enough to write a book about it, than it must have been a very important topic to him. Besides sharing similar names (Ka f ka : Sa m sa), there was also a large obstacle in their lives that neither of them could not get over. For Franz Kafka, it was tuberculosis that stopped him from working. In 1917, Kafka found out that he had come down with tuberculosis, and "in 1919 he was hospitalized because of influenza... Kafka retired in 1922" (Pegasos 2-3). Tuberculosis was something that could not be treated, and Kafka had no choice but to stop working. The same thing, in a more fictional manner, happened to Gregor Samsa. The first line of "The Metamorphosis" reads "When Gregor Samsa awoke from troubled dreams one morning, he found that he had been transformed in his bed into an enormous bug" (Kafka 11). Just like Franz Kafka, Gregor Samsa is prevented from working because of a disability. However, Franz Kafka found out that he had tuberculosis in 1917; "The Metamorphosis" was written in 1912. This means that either it was a strange coincidence or Franz Kafka was predicting his own future. And at surface level Samsa looks to be very similar to Kafka, but at a deeper level is this the same?Franz Kafka was at many times in his life an outsider, rejected by all. Gregor Samsa, on the other hand, was loved by his family. But Samsa, it seems, was only loved by his mother and father because he supported them by working off...

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