Kafka’s Metamorphosis

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Austrian writer Franz·Kafka ( 1833 – 1924 ) is one of the greatest writers in the history of German literature in the 20th century, the originator of western modernist literature, the representative figure of expressionist literature and one of the founders of postmodern literature. U.S. playwright W H Auden said before: ” As far as the relationship between the writer and his time is concerned, Kafka is the first person who can be compared with Dante, Shakespeare and Goethe, because his predicament is the predicament of modern people.” The short story Metamorphosis, published in 1912 and 1915, is one of Kafka’s most classic works. The novel tells the story of a small clerk who woke up to become a beetle. Kafka described a shocking event with a cold tone as normal but happening again. The boundary between ” reality” and ” absurdity” has mysteriously disappeared in The Metamorphosis. Following the horrible strokes of the absurd master, I really felt the anxiety and fear of the hero Gregor after he was deformed, and felt the suffocation and loneliness surrounded by human feelings and deserts. At the same time, Ruminant’s Metamorphosis also told me to smell between the lines the author’s ardent expectation for truth, goodness and beauty and his constant call for freedom and self – esteem. All this forced me to face up to absurdity and seek the truth of human nature behind absurdity while shaking. What makes a natural person who is born with good intentions and pursues perfection become a beetle, what makes a harmonious and orderly world distorted and unreasonable, and what makes all these gloomy and bizarre plots so real, starting with the definition of human nature – 1.

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Talking about ” Human Nature View” It goes without saying that the difference between human beings and animals is the key issue in exploring the concept of human nature and the first issue that must be solved in positioning and interpreting the word ” human nature”. According to theistic ideas such as Christianity and Islam, human nature is the human nature of God’s special creation. The most prominent features of human nature are faith in God and adherence to stable social rules. In short, human nature is the special morality and duty of human beings different from all other creatures. The research theory of modern atheists says that human beings have evolved from animals, and the closest relatives of human beings are primates. Marxist view of human nature clearly points out that ” free and conscious life activities are the fundamental attribute of human beings. All – round demand is the ultimate goal and fundamental motive force of human existence and development. The manifestation of human nature is the sum of all social relations, including the natural attributes of human beings. ” To sum up, the author believes that ” view of human nature” is people’s understanding of human nature, their understanding and stand for society and the whole external world, and the motivation and behavior decisions arising therefrom. In Kafka’s ” Metamorphosis”, Grigore woke up and alienated himself into a nonhuman beetle. After being deformed and abandoned by the world, his mood was extremely sad. After three failed attempts to communicate with his relatives and the outside world, he finally died quietly. ” Metamorphosis” reflects the real living conditions of westerners at that time. The novel describes the intensification of competition, the weakening of feelings, the deterioration of pressure and the extinction of personality in human society in an almost absurd way. An individual who should enjoy human dignity and uphold human characteristics is struggling to survive in society and seeking warmth and despair in the family. In the background of the novel, the inability of the individual soul is broken by the belief of the group, and the double alienation of the social protagonist and the family protagonist forces humanity into a distorted corner.

It can be said that among Kafka’s few literary works, ” Metamorphosis” is the author’s most concentrated reflection and profound expression of his own view of human nature. 2, the leading role in society – the overall alienation of human nature The ” Metamorphosis” occupies such an important position in the history of German literature because it deeply describes for the first time the ” alienation” phenomenon prevalent in capitalist society. It is worth mentioning that the reason why Kafka alienated people overnight into beetles – something that should have been extremely absurd – seems to be an inevitable, extremely common, and not surprising thing. Apart from literary and linguistic skills, the most important thing is because he has deeply analyzed the death hole of human nature and firmly grasped the essence of social phenomena. Since the 20th century, with the development of big industry, the progress of science and technology, the quickening pace of life, the survival competition among people in the capitalist world has become increasingly fierce. However, it is in such a narrow living space that too fine a social division of labor and high-intensity and high-repetition work make many workers mentally deformed and even collapse. The ” things” composed of money, machines and production methods gradually manipulated ” people” and turned ” people” into slaves of ” things” so that ” people” eventually became ” things” or alienated human nature into physical properties. It is not only natural for a ” nonhuman” who cannot control himself to become a beetle, but it is also natural for Marx to attribute this alienation to ” the rule of things over people, the rule of dead labor over living labor, and the rule of products over producers” in Das Kapital. 3, there is no eternal human nature, only the interests of the eternal From a sociological point of view, Metamorphosis reveals the social reality of alienation. It is natural for people to become beetles, but the more terrible and deeper alienation is the distortion of family relations and other social relations. Grigore is the financial pillar of the family.

The family depends on his income to make a living. He also regards it as his duty. He worked hard and earned money so that the family could live in peace and contentment. In a word, before he changed shape, his family did not lose affection like a normal family. However, when he became a beetle, he could no longer go to work to earn money, no longer bring financial resources to his family and no longer have the same economic ties with his family as before, the affectionate love of family ethics ceased to exist and the so-called family affection revealed falsehood: his mother collapsed in shock at the sight of his ” worm” appearance; His father stormed at him and even smashed him with apples. The younger sister, though she had sympathy and compassion for her brother at the beginning, gradually disliked him with the passage of time. At the end of the day, the whole family took Gregor, who had become a beetle, as a burden. When ” it” died mournfully in loneliness and loneliness, the whole family was relieved and had a simple outing and talked about new dreams and a perfect future. Kafka once said, ” People have ropes connected to each other. If any person’s rope is loose, he will be suspended in the air, a little lower than others, that’s bad enough. If someone had all the ropes broken and he fell down, it would be terrible. So be sure to tie up with others. ” Kafka expressed a very cruel truth there: the traditional patriarchal clan system that sustains warmth among people has been alienated in modern society to rely mainly on economic ties, which is the footnote to Gregor’s terrible experience after his transformation. Money is the rope and bond that keeps Gregor and his family together. The rope broke and the relationship between family ethics and family members broke. There, the author reveals the almost cruel ethical relations and the essence of social relations in western society, which are precisely the bottleneck factors restricting human nature

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Kafka's metamorphosis. (2019, Jul 09). Retrieved September 28, 2022 , from

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