"The Metamorphosis" By Kafka As A Social Criticism

1343 words - 6 pages

Society often works against itself in one way or another. Inreading Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka one could presume the work tobe a social criticism. Throughout this story Kafka shows howsociety can be split into into different sections, with Gregorrepresenting the working man at the time, and his familyrepresenting all the other kinds of people throughout society.This story shows how Gregor has worked for his family in thepast, and how he subconsciously thought he had control over them.He works at an intolerable job of hard work to support his family,and gets little respect for this. It shows what happens to himwhen he stops working for them, he transforms into a hugecockroach. He is ...view middle of the document...

Maybe Kafka is representing Gregors family as the lower class.Once Gregor gives up working for his family he finds himselftransformed into a big ugly cockroach, the lowest form of life.It's clear why gregor gave up working for his family when he turnsthe key to the door and says "They should have called out Oekeepgoing, turn that key!'" (P868 Ph3) what he needed were words ofencouragement, words he never received. This could plausibly be ametaphor that the working people in society are way overworked,and get very little respect for it.It is obvious that Gregor appears disgusting to others thatsee him when the chief clerk runs away at first glimpse of him.This is his punishment for not working. His grotesque figurerepresents what he thinks people think of him. In a way this issaying, When the working man, stops working he believes peoplewill very him as a disgusting figure one that can do nothing butlive off of others.At this point Gregor's position, and respect in the householddecrease rapidly to a point of near nonexistence. He can't eventalk to people, this is established earlier on in the story whenThe chief clerk says "that was no human voice" (P867 Ph4). Hisfamily locks him in his room, and feeds him old rotting food.They completely desert him, and try to move on with their lives.Gregor at this point experiences feelings of lost empathy, andlongs to communicate with others. This could represent theworking mans fear of poverty, it has been established that whenthe working man quits he becomes a disgusting creature in his andeveryone's eyes; now that's not the main fear in the working man,it's loss of being cared for, and loss of communication in beingpoor, dependent, and powerless. His not being able to speakrepresents the lower class man's being silenced. How his familygives up on him, and deserts him is how society gives up on thepoor, or the homeless.Throughout Gregors life as a cockroach, he finds himself tobe treated more...

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