Symbolism in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis
Kafka uses symbolism in his short story, Metamorphosis. He uses this technique to make the reader try and figure out what was going on in his head. He brought out in this story many things about his life, including his father/family, love life, and his future. He used metaphors to show his love for people in his life. This story is autobiographical about the forces that control Franz Kafka's life. In this paper I will explain how Kafka relates his life to the readers through the story in Metamorphosis.
Franz Kafka had trouble at home with his father. His father wanted him to become a lawyer, but Franz did not want to be a lawyer, he wanted to be a writer. He went to law school against his will, because his father wanted him to go there. He then took a high paying position with the government of Czechoslovakia in an insurance post. In the story, Gregor?s father had very little respect for him, and Gregor had to work to pay off the family debts. That is an example of Gregor?s father?s control over his life and Kafka?s situation was similar. He eventually was forced to become a lawyer, whereas what Kafka wanted was a literary degree.
Franz Kafka made his character, Gregor, transform into an insect in the story. Nobody wants to associate themselves with an insect, which is a lowly creature, a pest, or nuisance. This symbolizes Kafka?s depression and his poor self image. Since his family treats the insect like an outcast, that must be how Franz felt about the treatment that his own family gave him. It showed the control that his father put on him. He was not allowed to leave his room. Gregor?s parents were so afraid to take him out of the house, because he was the family secret, and they thought that would bring shame and ruin the family.
Gregor?s becoming an insect symbolizes the changes in Kafka?s life from being a slave to his father and doing everything that his father wanted him to do (for instance being a lawyer) to doing nothing at all. Gregor?s death symbolized that Kafka had failed to communicate with his family. They thought of him as an insect, and he too thought that he was an insect, because he was looking at himself through their eyes. Through his family?s eyes they saw Gregor as an insect. He wished that they could love him for his true self, even though he was in the form of an insect. If Gregor was able to be accepted as a insect, by his family then maybe he would have been...