The Revelations of Kafka’s Life in the Metamorphosis
Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis revolves around the transformation of Gregor Samsa from human to insect, and how it affected his life and the lives of those around him. This literary gem showcases a symbolic description of the author’s life through the main protagonist, Gregor Samsa. The Metamorphosis highlights many situations in Gregor’s life that mirror events in the author’s life as well. By analyzing the life of Franz Kafka, one can examine the influence of the author’s personal experiences through the eyes of a significant and symbolic protagonist, Gregor Samsa.
The most significant parallel between the author and the protagonist, is in the damaged relationships between them and their fathers. According Harold Bloom’s Biography of Franz Kafka, “…his father used his great power not to build a foundation for his son’s growth but to sabotage it as well as his sense of himself by his hostility, his irony, his disdain, his vulgarity and his hot temper,” (Bloom 8), Kafka’s father, Hermann Kafka, was nothing but an oppressive and detrimental figure in Kafka’s life. Kafka’s father significantly molded and controlled the life of Kafka; he constantly judged and ridiculed Kafka’s creative ideas, forced him to become a businessman in order to pull their family out of poverty, and emotionally abused him along the way. Kafka’s father was unsupportive of Kafka’s dream to pursue writing, and his constant abuse overtime caused Kafka’s negative perception of himself that led him to have depression, anxiety, insomnia, and develop harsh insecurities (Kafka 15). Kafka essentially used the story of The Metamorphosis to portray an exposé of his early life with his father.
Kafka’s turbulent relationship with his father, also mirrored in Samsa’s relationship with his father. Before Gregor’s metamorphosis, Mr. Samsa was nothing but an extremely lazy parental figure who held high expectations of Gregor to support the family; not only did Gregor transform overnight, but his father did as well. Mr. Samsa used Gregor’s metamorphosis to his patriarchal advantage by acting as the hero of the family, essentially “saving” his wife and daughter from this new monster and taking on the supportive role Gregor once had. Instead of comforting and supporting Gregor after his horrendous transformation, Mr. Samsa treated Gregor as the insect he saw on the outside while ignoring the human son on the inside due to his prior insecure feeling of inadequacy in the family. Mr. Samsa transitions into a controlling, abusive tyrant that constantly puts Gregor in isolation and greets him with pure hatred that soon influences the rest of his family. This hatred can be depicted in the following evidence, “…suddenly something lightly flung landed close beside him and rolled in front of him. It was an apple; a second apple followed immediately; Gregor came to a stop in alarm; there was no point in running away now, for his father ...