Friday, July 19, 2019
Mental Isolation in Franz Kafkas The Metamorphosis Essay -- Kafka Met
Mental Isolation in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis The metamorphosis very possibly was written by Kafka as an outlet for his feelings of isolation and helplessness. In it, the protagonist, Gregor Samsa, awakens one morning to find himself spontaneously "transformed in his bed into a monstrous vermin." The story continues from there in a most realistic fashion: his family rejects him, and he stays cooped up in his room until he dies. Although interpretations of the story differ, my opinion is that Kafka wrote this story as a protestation, whether consciously or unconsciously, of his own inner needs not being met. Franz Kafka suffered from severe mental disorientation. This man suffered severe tragedies as a child: as the first child of Hermann and Julie Kafka, he lived to see two brothers born and die before he was six years old. Although they were eventually replaced by three new sisters, Kafka began his life with tragedies which most people do not experience until they are much older. Kafka lacked parental guidance, as he and his si sters were brought up mostly by governess. He was a Jew, and lived in Czechoslovakia, but he went to German schools. Therefore Kafka masked himself twice, at the bidding of his father. His father had made himself into a successful businessman, and expected Kafka to do the same. Most of Kafka's stories contain or center around an over-domineering, almost frightening father figure. Kafka obeyed his father. He remembered his high school education as being meaningless and dull, but, out of obedience to his father, he completed it, and passed with flying colors. This switching to a less offending option in order to offend no one characterizes Kafka very well. He possessed a wonderful mind but rarely, ... ... express himself openly would suggest otherwise. The Metamorphosis lends itself more to the psychology student instructed to profile an author based on his work than to the literature student instructed to cite and expand on different literary elements. It is obviously the work of a very disturbed man, although the disturbance would probably be more of the chronic type that slowly eats a man away than the type which causes, say, one to hallucinate. To sum up The Metamorphosis, I would call it a very deceiving book. On the surface, the simplistic plot, apparent lack of imagination with regard to the syntax, and the largely flat characters tend to drive the reader away. However, when one looks just a little deeper, Kafka's whole world of fear and isolation opens up before his eyes. Works Cited: Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Mattituck: Vanguard Press, 1946.