Symbolism in "The Metamorphosis" Book Review by write123

Symbolism in "The Metamorphosis"
A discussion of symbolism in "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka.
# 105981 | 734 words | 1 source | APA | 2008 | US
Published on Jul 22, 2008 in Literature (European (other))

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This paper analyzes how symbolism is used in Franz Kafka's short story "The Metamorphosis". The paper asserts that metaphors are used throughout the story to illustrate the lack of communication among the members of a middle class family. It points out that one overarching symbol, the protagonist's metamorphosis into a giant insect, symbolizes alienation from his parents and sister, who refuse to consider him a member of the family. The paper also maintains that the door is another important metaphor in the story. It concludes that Kafka uses these symbols as tools for expressing feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression.

From the Paper:

"Nonetheless, the metaphor of the bug can also be interpreted from a different perspective. Gregor's transformation could in fact be strictly spiritual in the sense that his physical shape might not change. His deadening job and demanding family could be the factors leading to his inner metamorphosis as one can lead the life of a bug without actually being one. We see Gregor with his family's eyes. He does not need to actually transform as his family already sees him as a bug. Communication is scarce; so is emotional connection between Gregor and his parents and sister who regard him as a mere source of income, and not as a human being. Kafka's central metaphor is thus two-sided in the sense that on one hand, Gregor could actually turn into a bug; on the other hand, he might just be made to feel like one by his family and job. This ambiguity is launched in the very beginning of the story by the narrator's words: "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect"."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis (1916). Online text: <>.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Symbolism in "The Metamorphosis" (2008, July 22) Retrieved June 01, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Symbolism in "The Metamorphosis"" 22 July 2008. Web. 01 June. 2020. <>