Analysis Of Franz Kafka 's ' The Metamorphosis ' Essay

2038 Words Dec 9th, 2016 9 Pages
Writer Franz Kafka is widely known for his deeply philosophical and existentially conflicting stories. While many of his works make it difficult to identify a singular theme, many of them revolve around the concept of the mind and the body and the relationship between the two. Some of his most famous short works, including “The Metamorphosis,” “A Hunger Artist,” and “In the Penal Colony,” portrays characters who are stuck in between fulfilling their spiritual wants and answering to their bodily needs. Despite generally nightmarish occurrences and events, a theme of how one’s spirituality transcends his bodily concerns can be identify in these short stories. By including a theme of mind versus body, Kafka’s works supports the existentialist claim that one’s individuality should precede essence, meaning one’s existence should be placed higher than the social constructs -- labels, stereotypes, etc -- of who they ought to be and what they ought to do. Franz Kafka’s stories are known for having existential elements embedded in them, making readers question his characters’ ultimate goals. One of the main points of existentialism is that “existence precedes essence,” as told by philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre. In explaining this idea, he describes it as “a being who exists before he can be defined by any concept of it...We mean that man first exists: he materializes in the world, encounters himself, and only afterward defines himself (Sartre 22).” In the case of Kafka’s…

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