This paper is about Franz Kafka's role in "The Metamorphosis."

Essay by laxkyle17High School, 10th gradeA, December 2003

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Often times in literature, authors use their own life experiences to better portray a character and his or her feelings. Franz Kafka is not only the author of "The Metamorphosis," but his role in the story is also as the main character. Gregor Samsa, the protagonist of this fable, is a representation of Franz Kafka in many ways, since the two have much in common. Also, the feelings that Samsa projects towards other characters and situations, such as rejection, are those that Franz Kafka once felt in his lifetime. Furthermore, Franz Kafka uses the people around Gregor Samsa as symbols of the people who affected him in his own life. Therefore, Franz Kafka, the author of "The Metamorphosis," based many elements of the story on his own life and experiences.

Many attributes of Gregor Samsa are, at surface level, obviously symbolic of Franz Kafka. For instance, the military greatly affected both Franz Kafka and Gregor Samsa.

On page 21 of "The Metamorphosis," Gregor Samsa is describing his room, when he comes across "a photograph of Gregor that dated from his military service, showing him as a lieutenant, hand on sword, with a carefree smile" (Kafka 21). Clearly the military was a large part of Gregor's life. Franz Kafka, however, did not serve in the military, but he was inspired by it. One of Kafka's novels, the Penal Colony, "is a parable of a torture machine and its operators and victims- equally applicable to a person's inner sense of law, guilt, and retribution to the age of World War I" (Grolier 1). Without a doubt, if Kafka was inspired enough to write a book about it, than it must have been a very important topic to him. Besides sharing similar names (Ka f ka...