The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis as Art

Many consider Franz Kafka one of the most prominent and influential writers of the twentieth century (Votteler 204). Many of his works, mostly short stories, met with critical acclaim only after his death in 1924. His stories usually present, "a grotesque vision of the world in which alienated, angst-ridden individuals seek to transcend their tormented condition" (204). One critic has referred to him as "the classical painter of the estrangement of modern man" (Czermak 7). It is in Franz Kafka's short story "The Metamorphosis," that we meet Gregor Samsa, a traveling salesman that awakens one morning only to find himself in the unfortunate position of having been transformed into a giant insect. Despite this fact, Gregor preserves his human faculties of reason and feeling and struggles to maintain his relationships with the family members that depend on him for, if nothing else, financial support. Throughout the story, it is not only Gregor, but also the rest of his family, that undergo metamorphoses.

Because "The Metamorphosis" can be seen from so many different perspectives it is rather difficult to label it in any one way (Magill, Masterplots 4115). "The Metamorphosis" has...

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