The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Analyzes short story’s implications for meaning of life, human condition, family relations, identity, guilt & punishment.
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Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis uses a fantastic situation to create an allegory about the meaning of humanness and about the relationship of the individual to the world in which he lives. That relationship is involved here as the ties to that world are broken. Gregor Samsa awakens to find that he has been changed into a huge vermin. The only contact he has with the world in which he lived the night before is through the family members who can be heard moving around the house and who react to Gregor’s change in various ways. Underlying this story is the sense that Gregor is being punished for some unstated crime and that the universe has taken this means of inflicting that punishment. Yet it is more likely that the universe is meaningless, unmotivated, and absurd, and so the transformation that comes over Gregor cannot be explained with references to…