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    The Metamorphosis as a social criticism Essay

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    Society often works against itself in one way or another. In

    reading Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka one could presume the work to

    be a social criticism. Throughout this story Kafka shows how

    society can be split into into different sections, with Gregor

    representing the working man at the time, and his family

    representing all the other kinds of people throughout society.

    This story shows how Gregor has worked for his family in the

    past, 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 him

    when he stops working for them, he transforms into a huge

    cockroach. He is rejected by his family, and he is not cared for

    properly which results in his death. Following Gregors death is a

    gleeful ending, which eventually implies that the cycle will be

    repeated, though this time through his sister.

    It is apparent even in the first sentence As Gregor awoke

    one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed into

    a gigantic insect (P862, Ph1) that Kafka meant something

    underneath the surface. Awakening from uneasy dreams could mean

    awakening from an uneasy, labored life by quitting it all. His

    transformation could mean how society can compare him to a

    cockroach for his giving up on them and treat him as if he was

    less than human.

    Gregor has obviously had a life of hard labor at a job that

    he finds to be unbearable; as he states Oh, God what an

    exhausting job Ive picked (P862 Ph4). He feels that he must

    work though. He feels that his family is incapable of supporting

    themselves. His mother has asthma, his father is old, and his

    sister is very young. As it turns out though, in the end, his

    family was perfectly capable of supporting themselves; In fact

    his father had been saving up money the entire time. In reading

    this first portion of the story one would be led to believe that

    Kafka is making a statement of how the working man feels that his

    life, and others would be in jeopardy if he were to stop working.

    Maybe Kafka is representing Gregors family as the lower class.

    Once Gregor gives up working for his family he finds himself

    transformed into a big ugly cockroach, the lowest form of life.

    Its clear why gregor gave up working for his family when he turns

    the key to the door and says They should have called out keep

    going, turn that key! (P868 Ph3) what he needed were words of

    encouragement, words he never received. This could plausibly be a

    metaphor 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 that

    see him when the chief clerk runs away at first glimpse of him.

    This is his punishment for not working.

    His grotesque figure

    represents what he thinks people think of him. In a way this is

    saying, When the working man, stops working he believes people

    will very him as a disgusting figure one that can do nothing but

    live off of others.

    At this point Gregors position, and respect in the household

    decrease rapidly to a point of near nonexistence. He cant even

    talk to people, this is established earlier on in the story when

    The chief clerk says that was no human voice (P867 Ph4). His

    family 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, and

    longs to communicate with others. This could represent the

    working mans fear of poverty, it has been established that when

    the working man quits he becomes a disgusting creature in his and

    everyones eyes; now thats not the main fear in the working man,

    its loss of being cared for, and loss of communication in being

    poor, dependent, and powerless. His not being able to speak

    represents the lower class mans being silenced. How his family

    gives up on him, and deserts him .

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