Life is Fractured by Class Struggle in Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosi

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Marxist theory is based on the idea that the homogeneity of one’s everyday life is fractured by class struggle. This discontinuity is caused by the chasm between those who possess wealth and those who do not possess wealth, which occurs, by and large, in a capitalist society. On the surface, an examination of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis through this Marxist lens reveals that the novel is a denunciation of the capitalist society in which protagonist Gregor Samsa lives in because of this class struggle. However, one other primary aspect of Marxism’s methodology must be taken into consideration when critiquing Kafka’s novel: dialectics. Marx’s dialectic is a method of discussion, analysis, and argumentation that attempts to understand…show more content…
Gregor is a travelling salesman and describes the lack of fulfillment from his job: “The upset of doing business is much worse than the actual business in the home office, and, besides, I’ve got the torture of travelling, worrying about changing trains, eating miserable food at all hours, constantly seeing new faces, no relationships that last or get more intimate.” (Kafka 3-4). The “torture” that Gregor faces with his job signifies his alienation by his boss. Gregor’s boss is superior to him in economic position and exploits him for his work: “He sits on the desk and talks down from the heights to the employees ... He was a tool of the boss, without brains or backbone” (4-5). Gregor’s production is worth more than he gets paid, and the money that he does earn goes straight to his father’s debt. His boss has total control over the “travelling,” the “changing trains,” the “miserable food,” and every other aspect of his job. His only concern is the production of his workers and the profit that he accumulates as a result of that labor. When Gregor did not show up to work, rather than working harder to replace his production, Gregor’s boss came to his home to see why he had not come to work. Gregor’s alienation is a result of being a “tool” of the boss. Just as a tool or a machine can be easily replaced, Gregor is expendable and can be easily replaced by his boss. This alienation manifests with the

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