The Use of Metaphors in Kafkas Metamorphosis

Length: 3 Pages 863 Words

In two ways, change is brought about in The Metamorphosis. The first is by allowing time and circumstances determine one’s decisions. The next way is by using courage and conviction to make one’s own decisions. Kafka brings about change with the use of metaphors in The Metamorphosis. The hidden metaphors are there if one can recognize and understand them. Kafka’s crafty use of metaphors throughout his story includes many uses of different items. Finding the hidden and direct metaphors gives one a sense of adventure and challenge. The transformation of Gregor into a giant vermin is a very apparent metaphor, which can be thought of in more than one way. One may be inclined to associate “this man turned bug” as a grotesque display representing one of the lowest forms of life. Gregor’s manager and family are repulsed by his unexplainable physical appearance. Stunned, the manager retreats out of the house in horror, the mother falls to the floor in grief and the father, in an attempt to get Gregor out of sight, forces him into the doorway of his room. Gregor’s beetle body is too large for the doorway and he finds himself stuck and unable to move, “when from behind his father gave him a hard shove, which wa Continue...


He longs for nurturing, sustenance and approval. To add injury to insult, Gregor's father has no tolerance for his appearance and is not only cruel verbally, but also physically. When he tried to explain to his manager why he wasn't at work on time, the manager asked, "Did you understand a word and then he stated, "That was the voice of an animal (Kafka 2309). Kafka certainly uses the apple as a metaphor for original sin and the pain of the punishment imposed by God on Adam and Eve. Gregor describes the dining room table as having "The breakfast dishes laid out lavishly on the table, since for his father breakfast was the most important meal of the day, which he would prolong for hours while reading various newspapers (2310-11). Kafka's reference to food and newspapers serve as a metaphor for the need for sustenance. One should assess that Kafka is using this metaphor with a dual purpose in mind. This in turn educates and fills the void one might feel by being cut off from the world. A beetle cannot communicate in language; therefore there is no way for Gregor to explain his predicament to anyone. s truly his salvation, and bleeding profusely, Gregor flew far into his room (Kafka 2314). This is the need to know what is going on outside of one's own realm and therefore fulfilling a physical need for human contact. Another way one might define the metaphor of this transformation is looking at Gregor's disassociation with the human world. The food, of course, fills the belly and is literally sustenance for physical requirements to remain alive. The food is significant in such that they both provide one with some sort of sustenance. Sustenance is apparently something that the whole family is in need of.