In the short story The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, the central character Gregor Samsa can be analyzed on a symbolic level. The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate through examples and quotes, the ways in which Kafka applies symbolism. Throughout the story, clear similarities between the author's life and the main character's life are evident.
A striking likeness between Gregor and Kafka is their resentment towards their work environment. In reality, Kafka had a bureaucratic job, which he chose because he would get off at 2 in the afternoon, and have the rest of the day to dedicate himself to what he truly loved, writing. The main character in this story, Gregor Samsa, works as a traveling salesman. He, as Kafka also dislikes his job and aspires to something else:
"What a grueling job I've picked! Day in, day out-on the road. The upset of doing business is much worse than the actual business in the home office, and, besides, I've got the torture of traveling, worrying about changing trains, eating miserable food at all hours, constantly seeing new faces, no relationships that last or get intimate."
In this example of symbolism, Kafka's personal life at work is reflected on his main character's situation.
Another aspect of connection between Kafka and the traveling salesman is that both were raised by domineering fathers. Through his life, Franz always tried to win his dad's approval. Gregor's father, also proved to be a man of harsh parenting: "With a hostile expression, his father clenched his fist as if to drive Gregor back into his room..." In the book, it is stated several times that Gregor's job supports the family, which gives proof to his surbordinance towards his father, which is such that he chains himself to a displeasing job, just so...