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"The Metamorphosis" - Kafka

Categories: The Metamorphosis

Worry, jolting, trapping in a sense, and awakening in a more actual one, a headache is a dream created from the inner truth of yourself. In “The Metamorphosis” by Kafka a traveling salesman called Gregor is inexplicably developed into a dung beetle, which not even his household can discover to accept not to mention comprehend. His family is now confronted with an absence of money, considering that Gregor was the only person working, leaving him to feel useless and like a dissatisfaction as opposed to the value that he as soon as held.

Kafka’s tone and overall design according to Russian author Vladimir Nabokov makes The Metamorphosis a “striking contrast to the nightmare of the tale.” Enhancing this horrible quality of this novella are Kafka’s minimal 3rd person point of view, a matter-of- truth tone and clear black and white preciseness.

Due to the restricted 3rd person perspective darkness is produced surrounding the reader making uncertainty and alienation inescapable.

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Set apart from the story directly the reader need to take in Gregor’s story in a relationship nearly fitting more with the readers’ own life instead of a simple story about one guy. From the very start of this novella it is made clear that this perspective with not discuss completely the exactness of Gregor’s problem, leaving a nightmarish quality of turmoil and insecurity. Gregor’s thoughts awaken the reader to the strange scenario that he is in his own mind, but limiting Gregor’s vulnerability in the eyes of the reader.

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“What has occurred to me? He believed. It was no dream.” (1) In this passage Gregor reveals his broad feelings about what has actually taken place although Kafka boundaries Gregor from an in depth take a look at why, how and even if he has actually really turned into a beetle. The narrating voice runs out understanding of the events of the story than Gregor does. It is confined with him in his space, it listens at the keyhole, it follows his dreams, it departs when he faints, and it returns when he wakes, nevertheless it appears almost detached. The seclusion in which this puts Kafka’s protagonist permits the reader to absorb the scenario in a different way as they might in his scenario. Forming an entrapment into the novel, even unto the inescapable death of Gregor, his supreme headache.

Simplicity is the clarity of expression, shown in this novella by the straight forwardness of the characters, making a dream state even more clear. Gregor hated his job as a traveling salesman but accepted it by telling himself that when he repays the debt he owes his family he will do something that satisfies him. However, Kafka’s writing makes his dreams hopeless by turning Gregor into a beetle, lacking acceptance from his own family. There is no hope for Gregor in Kafka’s novella. The family seems to have decided that they cannot depend on Gregor anymore and therefore not even acknowledge him is the clearest betrayal, written in such a matter- of – fact tone that its significance cannot go undermined. This wounds Gregor more than his own feelings of guilt in leaving the family to endure what he thinks will follow, poverty.

However, even before Gregor’s metamorphosis, his father had disclosed his secret that his business had not fallen completely and the family had enough money to provide for themselves until they got jobs themselves. The lack of trust for Gregor from his father shows the reader the extreme loneliness, which Gregor has endured probably all of his life and the superficial pride he had felt when he was working for his family. The startling aspects of this writing seem to be that without pausing to stress these horrible conditions of the main characters life, Kafka systematically adds to Gregor’s disappointment until he finally ends his misery.

Kafka includes no metaphors or other writing elements to symbolize the struggle of his protagonist and the other characters in the novella. His writing is a black and white view of cause and effect, no matter what they are. The elements of his style do not sympathize with Gregor and seem to point out the meaningless nature of wording to hide the true meaning of his story. Gregor’s metamorphosis, alienation, fear and awakening to this traumatizing experience is written with an eerie calm that makes these facets of the novel even more sincere and understandable.

Throughout the novel Gregor is portrayed as an outcast, even in his own family. They do not accept him and distrust him as a human and are ultimately relieved at his death as a beetle. The nightmarish quality Kafka’s The Metamorphosis includes the limited third person perspective, a matter-of- fact tone and clear black and white specificity. The qualities mentioned pull the reader into the novel even as Kafka shows the horrors of his life. Although Kafka does not allow the narrating voice to sympathize with Gregor’s circumstance the readers through their own humanity are able to understand. This writing provokes this feeling of understanding through a nightmare of subtle calmness that is broken in the end of the novella when the reader is jolted awake through disgust at the family’s relief.

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"The Metamorphosis" - Kafka. (2016, Jul 22). Retrieved from

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