The Metamorphosis

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Essay 2, Prompt 9 In “The Metamorphosis,” Franz Kafka included certain ideas of existentialism, but to identify them in the novella we must understand what existentialism is. Existentialism is defined as a philosophical theory that takes importance of the individual and its existence, and as an individual we become who we are by the actions, responsibilities, and the decisions we partake in our lives. In Sartre’s essay “The Humanism of Existentialism,” he explained major concepts of existentialism, and these concepts are found in Kafka’s writings. The first major idea that can be identified in “The Metamorphosis” is Sartre’s belief that “existence precedes essence.” Sartre believed that our existence like our physical traits, experiences,…show more content…
Gregor also loses his ability to talk; therefore, losing a function that separates humans from any other animal. Gregor’s metamorphosis led him to lose his human essence. He could no longer define himself as a human, even though in the beginning of the story he tried to ignore the fact that he was a beetle and still tried to carry on a life of a human being. Sartre also believed that “Man is nothing else, but what he makes of himself,” and that man can determine his own destiny. This means that we have full control of our lives, and the actions we decide upon make up our character and destiny. Kafka demonstrated these beliefs into his work by changing Gregor into a beetle. Gregor was living a dull life that consisted of worrying about his job and his family rather himself. He was basically living a pointless life; therefore, making himself transform into a pointless beetle that has no actual purpose in life; it only exists to survive. Throughout the story, Gregor slowly realized how tiresome his former life was, and as a beetle he was finally finding his self-identity; however, he didn’t do anything to alter his circumstances. He had the freedom to leave and to avoid the alienation from his family, but he stayed and chose his destiny as a beetle. Gregor also could

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