The Use Of Allegory In Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis

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The novella Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka might appear as absurd, especially in the first reading. A man turning into giant insect is a surreal event, along with the fact that there is no explanation given behind Gregor Samsa’s exploration. However, underneath the absurdity of it lies a plethora of complex theme and one of these themes is the idea of death as a way of emancipation from the invisible restraints created by society towards an individual; this concept is illuminated through some passages from the first and third parts of the story, using allegory and imagery as literary devices. As evident in the introductory paragraph, Kafka uses these same tools to illustrate how Gregor Samsa, the protagonist of his story, has been dehumanised…show more content…
Furthermore, as a ‘horrible vermin’, he is initially depicted to be lying down ‘on his armour-like back’ and is coloured brown. Historically, armours are used to protect oneself from any harm and are used as status symbols as well; for armours to be associated with the shade of brown implies that the said armour is rusted – it is now useless for it can no longer be worn for protection and rather, is a burden for Gregor to carry. Intertwined with the concept of the armour is Gregor’s position when he has awoken from his sleep: he is lying down. This implies that he is in a vulnerable position, and the rusted armour on his back is pulling him…show more content…
This epiphany is subtly implied by Kafka when Gregor Samsa ‘woke up from troubled dreams’ and later on, he states that ‘it wasn’t a dream’. In this context, waking up from a dream, signifies the transition from the unconscious state to conscious state; moreover, dreams, according to the Freudian concept, is one of the languages of unconsciousness. Hence, the aforementioned phrase can be translated as Gregor finally waking up to realise that he is actually a useless member of his family, despite being the sole provider. However, despite this discovery, Gregor is not fully aware and rather, diverts his attention elsewhere. For instance, he worries instead of catching the next bus to get to work, for he knows that his future and ‘his family depended on it’. Hence, Kafka uses imagery to depict what Gregor is feeling within him; when Gregor ‘look [s] out the window at the dull weather’-- it is raining--,it has ‘made him feel quite sad’. From this observation, the phrase ‘looking at the window’ is reminiscent of the famous quote ‘the eyes are the windows to the soul’, which conveys the idea that when Gregor looks out at the window, it reflects his inner thoughts. Consequently, the ‘dull weather’ represents his milieu – his life, which is filled with darkness; by darkness, it implies the image of society imposed onto him. Therefore, upon gazing at the dull

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