The Metamorphosis Expressionism
Expressionism An expressionist piece of literature portrays a vision of the real world through the author’s point of view. “The Metamorphosis” is an excellent example of expressionism. It shows Franz Kafka’s honest interpretation of the world. His endless fears from his life can be seen in “The Metamorphosis”. Two fears of Frank Kafka’s that keep re-appearing in “The Metamorphosis” are displacement in society and strained relationships with society. After Gregor’s metamorphosis he also is no longer a part of his human society and can no longer preserve his relationships with his family.
Gregor’s metamorphosis symbolizes Frank Kafka’s every nightmare and hardship in life. Franz Kafka was born in a Jewish family in Prague in 1833. He wasn’t a part of the Jewish community whole heartedly nor was he a part of the German community wholeheartedly. He was out of place in society much like the main character, Gregor in “The Metamorphosis”. Gregor was an insect in a human world. Everything about him differed from a human’s. He went from a young and capable man one night to an “old dung beetle” (42). he next morning. A man can never be part of society if he doesn’t know how to fit in. How was Gregor to fit in as an insect? It’s impossible. Some might argue looks aren’t everything one can be an important figure in society and make an impact just through the power of speech. But Gregor couldn’t even do that. To everything that Gregor wished to say the response he received in return was “Did you understand even a single word? ” (18). Neither Franz Kafka or Gregor were able to truly fit in their society.
Another key component in Franz Kafka’s life was his strained relationship with his father. This is evident in Gregor’s life as well. The novelette does not tell the reader information on Gregor’s relationship with his father before the metamorphosis. But from the astonishment of Gregor in response to his father’s actions and words the reader can conclude that his behavior towards Gregor was not always like this. No matter what Gregor did “his father was in no mood for such niceties” (37). This portrays Franz Kafka’s failure in ever making his father proud of him.
Franz Kafka was the eldest yet he could not carry the pride of the family. Gregor has carried his family’s burden for a long time. In fact “he was hot all over with shame and sorrow” (30) when he thought of his family having to make a living for themselves. He had always been the provider. However he was never appreciated, yet another message of Franz Kafka. No one appreciated him in his lifetime. Therefore his character was never appreciated. They were both stepped on as if they were no more significant than an insect.