Analysis of autobiographical links in the fiction of Franz Kafka. Focuses on Metamorphosis and The Judgement - paying particular attention to techniques used by the author.

Essay by uwistrugglaUniversity, Bachelor'sB-, April 2005

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The fact that this man's traumatic life is depicted in and impacts upon his work so strongly is no laughing matter. This essay attempts to examine and analyze the autobiographical links in Kafka's fiction Metamorphosis and The Judgment, with particular focus on the techniques employed by the author to execute this feat.

Upon reading Metamorphosis, the first thing the reader notices is the dismal imagery used by Kafka; the dull, gloomy and humid environment serving to foreshadow the decay and deterioration of Gregor's life. Additionally the newspaper Gregor's father uses, creates the imagery of a man chasing an insect. This is ironic because it is the constant work on the part of Gregor that supports the buying of that said newspaper, and it is this work that transforms Gregor into vermin. The exploitation at the hands of the oppressive bourgeois culture of his world, robs him of his humanity, thus turning him into a creature devoid of thought and feeling to the point that he might as well be an insect since he has long ago ceased to be human.

Family relationships with Gregor have been corrupted as the bourgeois mentality has ripped away the hymen of sentimentality, thus causing it to be a victim of capitalism, reducing family relation to a mere money relation. Gregor is thus 'raped' and 'prostituted' by his family - resulting in his decline. Ironically however, As the story progresses, Gregor apparently becomes more human, and less of a machine built for society. This is seen by the appreciation of music he displays as he temporarily escapes from his room, drawn by the sound of his sister's violin. Just as Kafka temporarily finds cathartic relief in his writing, he sympathizes with his character Gregor and grants him some of the inner humanity he lacks...