The Metamorphosis & Existentialism Essay

763 Words Sep 29th, 2012 4 Pages
Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is a masterfully written novella about Gregor Samsa, a man who devotes his life to his family and work, for nothing in return. Only when he is transformed into a helpless beetle does he begin to develop a self-identity and understand the relationships around him. The underlying theme of The Metamorphosis is an existential one that says that any given choice will govern the later course of a person’s life and that a person has ultimate will over making choices. In this case, Gregor’s choices of his part in society cause him to have a lack of identity that has made him to be numb to everything around him. One morning Gregor awakens to find himself transformed into a beetle. Although the reader is never …show more content…
He relied solely and completely on his son. After Gregor’s transformation, his father followed suit. He became a proud and productive individual of the lower bureaucracy. He found the balance between work and leisure that Gregor could not.
According to Kafka and existentialism, people have both an individual side and a side with the commitment of society. It is our choices that must be in moderation of the two, to maintain balance. If a person chooses himself over society, he will lose the support of society; however, if a person chooses society, he will lose his individuality. Gregor initially chooses society over himself, which in turn transformed him into the working drone he was. After his physical transformation, he is forced reassert his focus to himself, and society abandons him. Through Gregor’s plight, his family became cohesive and productive in society, each contributing through work and leisure. Gregor learned to live for himself too late to become a whole person. Gregor begins to look for entertainment and fun in the form of a bug, a form that knows nothing but work, by crawling up to the ceiling and hanging from there, or from wall to wall over the various objects, this gave him a feeling of “almost happy absent-mindedness” (32). Haven given up any hope of returning to his human form or being a civilized working part of society ever again, this was one of the only joys Gregor had left in his life. By ignoring the purpose of being an
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