09 February 2014
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
In “The Metamorphosis”, by Franz Kafka, there are significant actions and transformations which make the story both sad and strange with a happy ending. Reflection and reality are an important part of this story because of the events that happened could be applied and assimilated with modern society. “The Metamorphosis” is filled with symbolic meaning, symbols and motifs that are used throughout the story to paint a clear picture of three overall themes, which are the absurdity of life, the limits of sympathy and most of all surrendering to the changes in life.
Beginning with the first sentence “When Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from a troubled dream, he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous insect” (Kafka 319) suggest that metamorphosis deals with absurd, wildly irrational events that operate in a random, chaotic universe. This absurd event is beyond the boundaries of a natural occurrence, it’s not only physically impossible, but very unlikely to happen. Gregor’s metamorphosis takes on a supernatural significance. The fact that Kafka uses Metamorphosis for the title of this story suggests that the monstrous insect that Gregor transformed into is a beetle; it is also suggested later on in the story when the maid states to Gregor “Come on over here, you old dung beetle” (Kafka 340).
The beetle holds a ton of symbolic meaning that fits into the theme of this creative story. The beetle stands for metamorphosis, time, strength, structure, gravity, cleanliness, recycling, transformation, community and adaptation. When thinking about the symbolic meaning of the beetle in terms of metamorphosis one can see how it supports the theme of surrendering to change. The beetle is known for its hard work and its strength, the beetle feels it can take on the world by itself; such as Gregor did for his family for many years until his transformation.