"The Metamorphosis" by Kafka as a social criticism

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, Undergraduate October 1996

download word file, 4 pages 3.9

Downloaded 197 times

Society often works against itself in one way or another. In

reading Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka one could presume the work to

be a social criticism. Throughout this story Kafka shows how

society can be split into into different sections, with Gregor

representing the working man at the time, and his family

representing all the other kinds of people throughout society.

This story shows how Gregor has worked for his family in the

past, and how he subconsciously thought he had control over them.

He works at an intolerable job of hard work to support his family,

and gets little respect for this. It shows what happens to him

when he stops working for them, he transforms into a huge

cockroach. He is rejected by his family, and he is not cared for

properly which results in his death. Following Gregors death is a

gleeful ending, which eventually implies that the cycle will be

repeated, though this time through his sister.

It is apparent even in the first sentence "As Gregor awoke

one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed into

a gigantic insect" (P862, Ph1) that Kafka meant something

underneath the surface. Awakening from uneasy dreams could mean

awakening from an uneasy, labored life by quitting it all. His

transformation could mean how society can compare him to a

cockroach for his giving up on them and treat him as if he was

less than human.

Gregor has obviously had a life of hard labor at a job that

he finds to be unbearable; as he states "Oh, God what an

exhausting job I've picked" (P862 Ph4). He feels that he must

work though. He feels that his family is incapable of supporting

themselves. His mother has asthma, his father is old, and his

sister is very young.