The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka

783 WordsApr 25, 20164 Pages
In the story “The Metamorphosis”, written by Franz Kafka, Gregor’s family represents the causing factor that prompts Gregor to become a cockroach. Gregor’s family is a symbol of a repressive structure that inhibits Gregor’s every thought and action. When Gregor gets up in the morning to get ready for work and finds that he has been transformed into a cockroach, he ponders about how maybe he should just go in to work late and get fired, but then realizes that he cannot because “if [he] were not holding back because of [his] parents, [he] would have quit long ago” (Kafka 8). This quote displays how the family contains immense power over Gregor which causes him to turn into a cockroach that symbolizes that he has become alienated, has…show more content…
He has completely lost his sense of identity and what it means to be human. Gregor is solely just a puppet used by his elders to get what they want. Just as Gregor’s family uses him for their wants and needs, empires from around the world suppress other people in order to gain wealth and power. To be able to fully understand the symbolism of a repressive structure from “The Metamorphosis” it is helpful to look at it through a much bigger picture. Most countries desire being labeled as an empire. In the article “Empire as a Way of Life”, the author, William Appleman Williams states that “empire as a way of life involves taking wealth and freedom away from others to provide for [one’s] own welfare, pleasure, and power” (Williams 83). This means that those in charge of certain countries or states can and will do anything to become a world power even if it means they must invade, conquer, or destroy. The United States of America, which is labeled as an empire, took the land from the Native Americans by invading, conquering, and destroying all at once. The quote can also mean that instead of conquering or destroying, those who are in charge can oppress those they have invaded for their own well-being. They can use the oppressed to create an even stronger empire. An example throughout American history would be when Africans were brought over as slaves to do the chores for the lazy
Open Document