The method in Kafka’s Metamorphosis is very direct. From his attention grabbing first sentence until the end of the 58 page story, Kafka bluntly tells the story of Gregor Samsa who “found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin”. While most, if not all, critics treat the story as an extended metaphor, the text presents almost no evidence that Gregor’s predicament isn’t genuine. It can not be that Gregor simply sees himself as this hideous creature, because everyone who sees Gregor throughout the story is horrified by his appearance.
The cleaning lady even refers to him as “dung beetle”. Its almost as if Kafka was , by his very directness, trying to eliminate the possibility that the story was any sort of metaphor. His direct, unembellished approach remains constant throughout the story. To find the message in Metamorphosis, however, one must assume that the story is meant for much more than entertainment.
Before his transformation at the beginning of the book, Gregor Samsa was working very hard at a menial job to support his entire family. While his boss was very strict, Gregor managed to do well enough to keep his family in an apartment that was larger than their needs required. He was even planning to send his sister to the music academy to further her violin skills. But to call Gregor’s life tedious would be an understatement. Every day he awoke early to catch the same train to do the same job until it was time for him to return home.
Kafka implies that in order to save money, or for some unknown reason, Gregor’s social life is almost nonexistent. Therefore, the message found in Metamorphosis may be one of boredom. Gregor’s day to day life was as monotonous as it could possibly be, so one day, he let his imagination run wild and imagined what life would be like as a hideous vermin.
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