An examination of The Metamorphosis and how the artist’s life is reflected in his work,
Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis clearly depicts the inner turmoil of the author. The work echoes of brokenness and longing. It is comical at some points but the underlying melancholy cannot be ignored. The e man Kafka had very limited social life and very few friends, as did Gregor in The Metamorphosis. The protagonist had a tumultuous relationship with his father Mr. Samsa and Kafka himself did not get along well with his father either. The similarities between the author and the work are not coincidental but rather art playing life as many artists hide from the natural world by putting themselves into the pictures or characters they create.
There are also major similarities between Kafka’s actual family life and Gregor’s family. In the Metamorphosis Gregor is an unmarried young male, the only male in the family and hence he is duty-bound to take on the burden of supporting the family. Because he is unmarried, there are no encumbrances to this duty and it is logical that the next successor be him indeed. Kafka also was the only male among a brood of sisters and hence the natural chain of inheritance pointed to him as the person to carry on with the family business.
Gregor’s father gave no recognition of his son’s efforts to support the family and did not appear to be proud of Gregor for his accomplishments in school or the military. Kafka’s father also did not think much of his son’s studying and especially disapproved of his writing. He felt a young man should be industrious and work with his hands. The pull on Kafka from his writing towards secular work was great and he resented it more so because his father was always trying to steer him away from his art and towards menial work. Gregor’s father operates a business and Kafka’s father also runs an...