The Power of the Mind in Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis" Analytical Essay

The Power of the Mind in Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis"
An analysis of the metamorphosis in Franz Kafka's short story, "The Metamorphosis".
# 153847 | 1,878 words | 0 sources | 2012 | CA
Published on Mar 26, 2014 in Literature (European (other))

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The paper analyzes how in Franz Kafka's short story "The Metamorphosis," Kafka uses his protagonist Gregor Samsa to demonstrate how an individual can use his mind to create a powerful alienation as a means to cope with life. The paper explains how Gregor creates a metamorphosis state of mind in the form of a wish-dream by which Gregor actually becomes an insect. The paper shows how Kafka employs a first person narrative method that establishes the meaning of Gregor's fantasies and leads the reader into a world that is straddled between reality and fantasy. The paper also points out the concept of sacrifice of the individual and its benefits for both the individual and the social community.

From the Paper:

"Kafka opens his narrative that explicitly explains that Gregor "discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug" (1). By opening his narrative in this way, Kafka creates a claim that reality is not what the self wants; rather, reality is what occurs, which can be, in this representation, not what the self wants. The larger perspective that Kafka is creating in this scene is that the truth and the state of consciousness are not always identical. The inhuman aspect of reality is Gregor's mind that it wants to avoid truth about what is actually happening in his life, but in order to do this, Gregor's consciousness finds itself imprisoned in the nonhuman body of an insect.
"All the time that the metamorphosis is occurring, Kafka presents Gregor as attempting to pretend to himself as well as others that his metamorphosis condition is only a momentary difficulty. The overwhelming theme here is that Gregor, driven by guilt, is undergoing this metamorphosis because he cannot solve the conflict of wanting to live a life that is different than the one that is expected of him. The metamorphosis is a way to alienate himself from his family and the obligations that he feels he must meet, and yet, it is beyond his control; he can't be blamed for it, and therefore, can't be held responsible for it or feel guilty about it."

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"The Power of the Mind in Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis"" 26 March 2014. Web. 10 December. 2023. <>