The Metamorphosis: The Potrait Of Kafka's Life

Essay by AngelusTVSUniversity, Bachelor'sA, May 2005

download word file, 9 pages 5.0

The Metamorphosis written by Franz Kafka is considered one of the few great, poetic works of the twentieth century. Addressing The Metamorphosis, Elias Canetti, a Nobel Prize-winning author, has commented, "In The Metamorphosis Kafka has reached the height of his mastery: he has written something which he could never surpass, because there is nothing which The Metamorphosis could be surpassed by - one of the few great, perfect poetic works of this century" There are many symbolisms and parallelisms used in the story. "[Kafka's] disturbing, symbolic fiction, especially The Metamorphosis, written in German, [not] only prefigures the oppression and despair of the late 20th century" but also is an account of the dramatic transformations that had occurred during his own life ("Kafka Franz", Funk?, 2000). This beautifully written masterpiece of Kafka's is clearly symbolic of his own life and nightmare-like life experiences he had with his father.

"Suppose all that you have always valued in your life was shown to be an illusion.

What if your precious beliefs, maxims, platitudes, and traditions were inverted and distorted beyond recognition? You suddenly realize that what is good is bad; what is beauty is foul; what is virtue, vice. What if all your points of reference were to shift: North becomes South; black becomes white; deviant becomes saint; saint becomes deviant. Suppose that this transformation - a metamorphosis of perception - were to come to you and you alone. Suddenly you awake, and in utter solitude you discover that your values have reversed along with you: you are a roach!" Your world is abruptly and totally changed! This is Gregor portrayed in Kafka's The Metamorphosis.

With the opening of the story, Kafka right away jumps into the woken yet uneasy dreamy state of Gregor, a young commercial traveler. With the...