Symbolism in Metamorphosis

1479 WordsJul 9, 20096 Pages
Discuss symbolism in Kafka’s Metamorphosis. What does he seek to convey through the use of symbols in his work? In Franz Kafka's novel, Metamorphosis, a man awakens from sleep to find out he’s been transmogrified into a grotesque vermin, a cockroach the size of a human being. Gregor Samsa, the breadwinner of the family realizes his services towards his family were never really appreciated when he metamorphoses. The attitude of his father, mother and sister go some degrees cooler until through detection, disgust and fear exhibited by his family, he goes on a ‘hunger strike’ and dies. In this novella, Kafka puts across divisive matters in this novella by putting in a lot of symbols to disguise the true meaning of the novella. The first…show more content…
Time, I believe is the symbol for exactness. It finalizes it events and makes it more credible as if time is involved we can assume it really happened. Gregor worked with time unto the end. It was what pushed him to work. He literally worked with time. Time was one of the deciding factors in his life as when he woke up at the wrong time he was almost devastated. The apple I believe serves as a symbol of the pain and hurtful words issued to Gregor by his family. The apple in his back came about as a result of the pent up fury of his father. One can assume the apples were the hurtful words of Gregor’s father as he was frustrated with his son’s metamorphosis. I think the apples here serve as a biblical allusion like the apples of the Garden of Eden which caused sin to be introduced into the world. The apples or the eating of the apples by Adam and Eve caused pain and death, just like the apples where one lodged in the back of Gregor, causing an infection leading to his death. The picture of the lady, the only picture he has in his room, is a symbol of freedom and the outside world. The woman stands firm with a fur coat wrapped around her. Fur is a material usually associated with the rich. The picture could also indicate the wealth Gregor hoped to acquire after paying his parents’ debt. Also it could also symbolize his only ‘friend’ who stood with him at all times. He has ‘a couple of friends he had in other companies, a chambermaid in a hotel out in the provinces
Open Document