Despite the intentional ambiguity in his work, Franz Kafka's stories do contain a few common thematic threads. Kafka's search for truth, be it about relationships, justice, religion, or human nature is the one interpretation that most critics agree upon.
Wilhelm Emrich, a highly acclaimed professor in Berlin, states that Kafka's writings can only be interpreted by accepting the full truth: "An assistive and willing readiness for the full truth means the ability to renounce all personal, limited ideas, wishes, and efforts of will and to enter into the fullness of all of that-which-is" (50). What he is suggesting is that in order to truly hear what Kafka has to say, one is required to completely disregard the conventional.
For example, if one were to read "The Metamorphosis," and merely regurgitate the surface details of the story, they would entirely miss the truth behind it. On the level of relationships, the average reader might be touched by the family's tolerance for the creature, noting that they may not have been able to do the same in a similar situation. He or she may overlook the truth of this story as "the realization that even the most beautiful, most tender relations among people are founded on illusions" (Emrich, 142). Where was the beloved sister after his presence became burdensome? Did his family not remember his contributions to pay off the debts owed by his father? Of course not, because they became comfortable in their situation and took Gregor for granted. When his family was convinced that no hope remained for his recovery, they moved on with their lives as if Gregor no longer existed.
It is difficult to draw from "The Metamorphosis," any particular divine theme without first knowing that religion was the whole world to Kafka and that "he viewed the total sum of possible experience in terms of religion" (Muir, 36). There is ...
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