Symbolism In Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

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The short novel The Metamorphosis, written by Franz Kafka, is one that relies on heavy symbolism to develop complex themes throughout the novel. In the book, a dejected and depressed travelling salesman named Gregor Samsa awakes in his room finding himself mysteriously transformed into a human sized insect, commonly believed to be either a cockroach or a dung beetle. He futilely attempts to get out of his bed and go to work, all while pondering his meek and insignificant existence, wondering how he might be able to alter his circumstances in order to improve the quality of his life. Gregor does attempt to leave his room, an activity where his progress is greatly hindered by his new form. When he does get out, his family is shocked by his new appearance; his mother faints; his boss, who came to check up on his worker, flees the scene out of fear; and Gregor’s father screams and almost beats Gregor with a cane. Gregor flees back into his room. The rest of the novel is composed primarily of a deeper analysis of Gregor’s life,and describes how his family is coping with Gregor’s transformation. Three major symbols and their corresponding themes in the novel are the door and its relation to exile, Gregor’s military uniform and its relation to youth, and, lastly, the framed picture of the lady in furs, and its connection to Gregor’s fleeting humanity. These symbols carry great abstract meaning throughout the novel and are often critical in some way to the plot’s progression. Oftentimes, these symbols are recurring, meaning that they are mentioned more than once throughout the novel. The first of …show more content…
During the scene when Grete and Gregor’s mother come to move the furniture in his room, he lets them take everything else but only tries to stop them from taking that picture. His resolve to not let them have the picture is so strong that

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