Symbolism In The Metamorphosis Kafka

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Register to read the introduction… In the beginning of the story Gregor is described as “squirming” (3) and “shocked to hear his own voice,” (5) which resembles his struggle of finding out who he is because he has turned into what family/society wants him to be. The fact that he is “shocked to hear his own voice” justifies that Gregor is not only confused on he has become, but it exposes the reality that Gregor never voices his concerns on being someone he isn’t. It startles him to realize that he is a prisoner within his own body and can’t figure out who he has become, which Kafka makes the reader feel sympathy for him because of his confusion in his mind. Towards the middle of the story Gregor “inconsistently darted madly” (18) around the room when his father was chasing him, which symbolizes Gregor’s chaotic state of trying to live up to his father’s approval because he “didn’t want to let his family down” (11) and how he feels “useless in his present state” (27). Kafka describes Gregor as “simply happy” when Gregor finds solitude in his own body, which shows that Gregor can accept who he is only in his bug form and doesn’t dwell too heavily on the expectations that has been set before him, which makes him authentic because he doesn’t feel he needs to meet his family’s expectations anymore (32). In part three of The Metamorphosis Gregor’s body has an “apple imbedded in his flesh” and in a “pathetic and repulsive shape” (40). The state that Gregor’s body is in reflection to the disgrace he has set upon his family and how they are careless and not sympathetic to Gregor’s tragedy. Their reactions are of distain because he is no longer meeting the expectations they have of him and has turned into his authentic self, which is not who they want him to conform to. Kafka expresses the family’s dissatisfaction with Gregor’s authentic …show more content…
Kafka illustrates this idea to the reader by symbolizing Gregor’s bug body as a reflection of the authentic side of Gregor, which makes his human life inauthentic. Although being turned into a bug seems mortifying, Kafka makes the idea appealing since Gregor no longer has the “torture of traveling” and the narrator clarifies that his human life had “no relationships that last[ed] or [got] intimate”(4). The displeasure in Gregor’s life is an indicator that Gregor was unsatisfied with not only his job, but his life too since he had no personal connections with not only other people, but his family too. When Gregor starts to get used to his bug body he finds that climbing walls “almost [made him] happy absent-mindedly” (32). The reader is able to decipher that “almost” feeling happy creates comfort for Gregor because it’s more optimistic than his lonely life that lacks focus or a sense of contentment in the future. The fact Gregor is “almost” happy leaves Gregor to see the opportunity to have some sort of satisfaction in his life for the first time (32). Kafka makes it a point to add that Gregor’s “sole concern had been to do everything in his power to make the family forget as quickly as possible the business disaster,” which in turn is making Gregor unsatisfied with his human life (25). Mostly this dissatisfaction comes from him conforming to being a workaholic that strives for his family’s expectations and approval, but once he is turned into a bug eventually those things don’t matter, making his bug body his not only more authentic, but content with the way his life is

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