Allegory In The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka

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Franz Kafka's short story 'The Metamorphosis' comprises a potent allegory about the effects of the modern way of life on the individual. From the beginning of the story we encounter the feelings of stress and anxiety about having to go to work, to earn a living and support a family. Gregor has to get up at four o'clock in the morning to go to work and do a job that is not only 'strenuous', as he himself complains, but also excludes him from the possibility of any personal life: 'contact with different people all the time [means] that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them'.[1] Gregor's profession (travelling salesman) prevents him creating any meaningful relationships with others, since he never stays in a place long enough to form any serious form of attachment or bond, however, the most crucial effect of this…show more content…
Interestingly, the reversal of roles between father and son does not extend to the role of leading patriarch, with Gregor remaining liable to his father's authority despite being economically more powerful than him. In contrast, Gregor is positioned in the feminised role of self-sacrificial son, who, with a motherly love for his family, suppresses his own dreams and desires in order to atone for his father's 'sins' and failures. Despite all his efforts and good intentions, however, all of Gregor's sacrifices seem to go unnoticed and unappreciated by his family. The lack of understanding from the parents' side is allegorically illustrated when Gregor's metamorphosis renders them unable to communicate with their son. Although Gregor maintains his ability to comprehend humans, even to the extent of instinctively understanding their thoughts and emotions, his sister and his parents progressively lose the ability but also the interest of trying to communicate with

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