Franz Kafka, one of the most influential writers o


Franz Kafka, one of the most influential writers of this century, was virtually unknown during his lifetime. His works, which were published by his friend Max Brod, after his death, have since been recognized as symbolizing modern man's anxiety-ridden and grotesque alienation in an unintelligible, hostile, or indifferent world. Kafka is perhaps best known for his dark and edgy stories filled with fantastic settings and almost unbelievable characters, but was all of this just fantasy work?

In The Metamorphosis, his most famous work, Kafka tells the story of a man who "one morning finds himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous vermin" (Kafka 3), and how his family deals with the situation.

In the opening paragraph Kafka introduces us to Gregor Samsa, the main character of the story. Gregor is a traveling salesman who took the job five years ago to help pay his fathers debt. He alone provides for the family. His parents and sister, over time, get used to the idea of Gregor being the supplier, and never stop to think what it would be like if something was to go wrong.

Gregor Samsa's reality changes indifferently in spite of his drastic physical changes. Before the Metamorphosis, Gregors life consisted of working and caring for his family. He led a life of a traveling salesman, working long hours, which didn't permit to him living his own "life". He reflects his own life as "the strain of constant travel: the worry over train connections, the bad and irregular meals, the steady stream of faces who never become anything closer then acquaintances." (Kafka 4). Working to pay off his family's debt, Gregor never left anytime for himself. Kafka himself counterparts this sentiment in a quote taken from his diaries; no matter how hard you work that work still doesn't entitle you to loving concern for people. Instead you're alone, a total stranger, a mere object of curiosity (Pawel 167

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