Signs and Abstractions in Kafka’s “The Transformation” “The Transformation” is an unique and intricate novella by Franz Kafka. It is strange in any work for the main character to wake up as an insect in the first line of the story. Kafka’s symbolism is unlike many authors who utilize importance to relate to the style of the story; Kafka tends to focus the reader’s attention on a single character which signifies his life.
His usages of strange signs make the reader concern, “What does Kafka indicate through this symbol? The analyses of these signs differ in between readers yet all appear to represent how life is ruined when individuals focus is on existence alone. To completely appreciate the symbols and abstractions in his works, it is very important for the reader to know the author’s history to comprehend the reasoning behind the story. As observed in “The Metamorphosis,” there are numerous similarities between Frank Kafka and his lead character, Gregor Samsa. Kafka was born into a middle-class, German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, the capital of Bohemia.
His daddy, Hermann Kafka, was explained by Kafka himself as “a real Kafka in strength, health, cravings, volume of voice, eloquence, self-satisfaction, worldly dominance, endurance, clearheadedness, [and] knowledge of human nature … “. (Nervi) Admitted to the Charles University of Prague, Kafka initially studied chemistry, however changed after 2 weeks to law. This used a variety of profession possibilities, which pleased his daddy, and required a longer course of study that provided Kafka time to take classes in German studies and art history.
He later on was worked with at an Italian insurance provider, where he worked for almost a year. His correspondence, throughout that duration, witnesses that he was unhappy with his late shift working schedule as it made it very hard for him to concentrate on his writing. Later, he resigned, and 2 weeks later discovered more congenial work with the Employee’s Mishap Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia. Nevertheless, he did not show any indications of indifference towards his job, as the numerous promos that he received during his career prove that he was a hard working employee.
In parallel, Kafka was likewise dedicated to his literary work. (Nervi) Gregor Samsa, the pest, and Kafka share numerous similarities. It is known that Kafka and the insect share occupations as a traveling salesman, with Gregor working to pay off his daddy’s debt to the company. Gregor is restrained by his physical characteristics, while Kafka is likewise restrained by his career, not able to pursue his will to be a fulltime writer. Kafka took his profession to the complete satisfaction of his daddy, and he stayed employed there for numerous years against his will.
Similarly, Gregor dislikes his work as a salesman; nevertheless his inspiration to return following his change can be attributed to the fact that he is his family’s only income, and he is proud to be able to offer his mom, dad, and sibling, Grete. He desires one day send his sibling to the conservatory to study violin. Gregor is put under heavy weight by his household, especially by his daddy. He feels the concern he places on the household and tries to vanish by concealing under the sofa.
As the story continues, Gregor is restricted to his room under his household command to avoid the household from shame. He is concealed and lacking human contact. The relation between Kafka’s isolation from his family can be related to Gregor, who leads his life under his father’s will, leading to the emotional rift between Kafka and his father. This becomes apparent during a passage in the story where Gregor emerges from the confinement of his space, just to be chased after around the cooking area and pelted with apples by his father, leaving Gregor wounded and eventually infected.
This discomfort and suffering experienced by Gregor can be abstracted as the grief Kafka underwent in handling his father and his daddy can not acknowledge or comprehend Gregor his child in this state. Though remorse follows the event, the damage has been done and it will only refer time up until his death. For the remainder of his life, Gregor understands he no longer has worth or serves purpose. In death, the burden of Gregor on the household has actually been raised, and in a weird, twisted way, his family is relieved and progresses gladly and easily.
Like his character, Kafka dies at a young age, alone. Even the title, “The Metamorphosis” can be abstracted metaphorically, not just through the primary character’s physical modifications, however between various characters. For Gregor, it is conveyed in the first sentence that Gregor has actually been changed from a human to a roach-like pest, yet the internal transformation Gregor experiences is a development from the starting to the end of the story. The transformation is gradual.
As Gregor’s condition worsens, he is unable to support his household, is not able to interact with them, and his speech ends up being entirely muddled. The theme, comparable to Kafka’s life, is of the suffering protagonist. Grete, too, modifications. Early in the novella she looks for assistance and assistance from Gregor. However, by the conclusion of the story she has “progressed” into “a lovely and voluptuous girl,” finishing her metamorphosis. Throughout this writing, the theme of oneness between the primary character and Kafka is apparent.
Kafka uses symbolic metaphors and abstractions in “The Transformation” to represent himself and his life. Resemblances in between the household, profession, alienation, and death are shared almost identically between Kafka and Gregor. In conclusion, there are too many parallelisms in Kafka’s “The Transformation” to dismiss as coincidence, and the character and life of Gregor Samsa are definitely a representation of the author, Kafka, and his life. Works Cited Nervi, Mauro; Kafka’s Life (1883-1921). 12 March 2006. The Kafka Project. 18 May 2009.