Existentialism In Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis

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The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, is a controversial book that is still discussed today. There are many controversies debating whether or not the book relates to him in a personal way or not, and whether or not he was actually a bug. I believe that the novella relates to him personally because of the similarities between the book and himself. The Metamorphosis takes place in an apartment, in an unknown city, and unknown time. We can assume that this takes place in Prague during the 20th century because that was the time he wrote it. During the 20th century, existentialism and modernism was having an influence over writers and artists. Existentialism is a philosophical theory, emphasizing the existence of individuality and having total control …show more content…
His father always had high expectations for Kafka, but whenever Kafka couldn’t live up to those expectation, he thought of himself as a disappointment. For instance, after Kafka graduated he went to law school to please his father, but soon dropped out, to please himself and to pursue his literature career, that his father never approved of. “If I abandon literature I’ll cease existing.” In The Metamorphosis, Mr. Samsa also had high expectations for Gregor. He expected him to support the family and help pay off bills. When Gregor turned into a bug and wasn’t able to provide for his family anymore which made him feel like he was a disappointment. When the Gregor’s dad first sees him as a bug, he “clenched his fist, as if to drive Gregor back into his room, then looked uncertainly around the living room, shielded his eyes with his hands, and sobbed with heaves of his powerful chest.” (Kafka 14) This shows that Mr. Samsa wanted to scold Gregor for either being late or making himself turn into a bug. Now that Gregor was unable to work, his family had to find another way to make ends meet. His sister got a job as a salesgirl, his mother started to sew clothes, and his father started to work again. “He was holding himself very erect, dressed in a tight-fitting blue uniform with gold buttons, the kind worn by messengers at banking concerns..He threw his cap-which was adorned with a gold monogram, probably that of a bank.” …show more content…
He gave the letter to his mother, expecting her to give it to his father but instead gave it back to him. Kafka wrote the letter to express his feelings toward the emotional abusive relationship his father gave him. “You reinforced abusiveness with threats and this applied to me too...When I began to do something you did not like and you threatened me with prospect of failure then became inevitable, even though perhaps it happened only at some later time. I lost confidence in my own actions. I was wavering, doubtful. The older I became the more material there was for you to bring forward against me as evidence of worthlessness; gradually you began really to be right in a certain respect.” (Kafka

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