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Essay about From Man to Giant Vermin in Kafka's Novel, The Metamorphosis

Decent Essays
Upon first glance, Kafka’s 1916 novel The Metamorphosis seems to be the tale of a man who wakes up one morning and finds himself transformed into a giant vermin. However, this novel actually reveals a metaphoric example of the overall structure of society through the economic theories of Marx and Engels. The protagonist of the story, Gregor Samsa, is in some ways a representation of the proletariat, or working class, and his unnamed manager signifies the bourgeoisie. After Gregor’s transformation, the conflict that arises between the two, because Gregor is unable to work, represents the dehumanizing structure of relations between social classes. There are three main segments to the metaphor in this story. First, Kafka skillfully weaves a…show more content…
Gregor continues working for his parents’ sake, and it is only economic necessity that keeps him going to work. As both a monstrous vermin and a person, Gregor is constantly conflicted between a humanistic desire to pursue his own interests and aspirations and the economic demands that prevent him from achieving his fullest potential by forcing him to work for someone else. His manager is portrayed as a demanding and insensitive individual who believes he is superior to his workers due to his economic status. Since the manager has no labor of his own to perform, he chooses to travel all the way to Gregor’s house to scold him for being late for work. Kafka consistently influences readers to become emotionally attached to Gregor, the proletariat, and detached from the bourgeoisie, his manager. This attachment to the worker is a common attribute of the communist theories that were developed by Marx and Engels. Gregor’s metamorphosis serves as a metaphor for the type of impairment that leaves a worker unable to work. Because the specific characteristics of Gregor’s insect form are unimportant in relation to the concept of class struggle, Kafka’s description of the bug is quite vague. The story focuses on the way Gregor’s morals and values as a worker diminish when he is unable to work. When Gregor loses his skills as a laborer, he is left to die a solitary death. The first individual to leave Gregor’s side is his manager, the bourgeoisie. As soon as the manager
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