The novella The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka, has themes and characters which parallel some of those in The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. One of the main themes in both books is the empty pursuit of materialism and money in society. Both books also have characters who are similar and whose appearances give them trouble. Although the characters in The Metamorphosis and The Great Gatsby are thrown into different situations, the themes that are intricately interwoven into both books shed light on their similarly empty worlds and hopeless situations.
In both books the pursuit of materialism is a negatively portrayed theme. In The Metamorphosis Gregor is a traveling salesman whose concern is to provide his family with a comfortable life. Although he does not like his job he accepts his miserable situation for the sake of financial security for his family. After Gregor's metamorphosis his family neglects him since he is no longer of any use and concerns itself with earning money.
In The Great Gatsby materialism is also a prominent theme, as can be seen from Gatsby's pursuit of wealth through illegal means and the upper class's conspicuous consumption. Although many people take advantage of Gatsby's parties, barely any come to his funeral once he dies, and his contributions are also forgotten.
Gregor Samsa and Jay Gatsby, although very different on the outside, essentially have many similarities. Both work to amass money for a single important purpose. Gregor wants to provide financial stability to his family and pay off the debt while Gatsby wants to win over Daisy. Both characters' appearances give them trouble. Gregor's metamorphosis into a bug puts him into a hopeless situation. Gregor's sister does not believe that it's him inside the bug's body and pronounces her disbelief by saying "But how can it...