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Posted on July 28th, 2012, by

Franz Kafka is an outstanding writer of the twentieth century who has efficient writing style describing realistic details and rendering figurative truth catching the reader from the very beginning of the novella, even from the first sentence by narrating: “One morning, as Gregor Samsa”¦ discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug”¯ (Kafka). In his work “Metamorphosis”¯ he applies to symbolism, which dates back to the late nineteenth century.

The dramatic relations within a family of Gregor Samsa show the complexity of human interaction in society and the conflict of people’s expectations with reality as it is on the example of Gregor who tried to conform his family’s expectations but could not manage to do it. The idea of isolation and alienation runs all through the book. Waking up and finding himself transformed into a kind of a cockroach, his life changes. Generally, Gregor himself and his death at the end of the novella are symbols; one morning he transformed outwardly but we can hardly say that he changed inwardly at once. It is a kind of a paradox that Gregor Samsa begins looking beast-like and consequently changes his attitude to certain things and events. Firstly, he considered himself to be busy with work as a burden of family support lay on him and did not let him breathe with relief because all his family members, his younger sister, father and mother were dependent on him. Gregor changed his practical approach to life and started perceiving the surroundings another way. But it did not matter if he looked like a man or like a cockroach; he was separated from the rest of the world, helpless, dependent on circumstances and isolated.

Dependability in the family cannot be considered only from the critical point of view, but giving up dreams for the benefit of people who never appreciate it is not a way out for the young man who could have deserved a better future.

Gregor manifests moral weakness and inability to withstand the calamities of life, as a result living in a full family he feels isolated and as his parents and sister start treating him like an insect, he begins feeling like an insect. His psychological and physical self are both alienated.

Though almost entire narration is in Gregor’s room with one window and the surroundings are rather static, readers can easily feel the dynamics of his family members attitude change, though the way Gregor Samsa loved and respected them never changed, he felt responsible for them and even when he was incapable of moving freely, he continued worrying about usual family business. One more symbol Kafka applies to in his “Metamorphosis”¯ is a picture of a lady in furs, which appears to be dear to Gregor’s heart and he does not agree to part with it. As when all the furniture was taken away from his room the only thing that remained is that picture on the wall symbolizing love.

As Gregor turns into a more human being than he used to be he fights as fiercely as he can to preserve it untouched as though catching at a straw from the past which he could not still consider exemplary. Living in the world of fears and isolation the main character seems to find new sense in life but his metamorphosis is irreversible, there is a certain doom feeling in it. No one understood Gregor, even when he crawled out of the room, his sister loathed him and “not only did she retreat, but she jumped back as if in alarm and banged the door shut”¯ (Kafka). The novella is thought-provoking, hence, it is impossible to remain indifferent to he issues touched.

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