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Symbolism in The Metamorphosis

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 9 months ago

Symbolism in The Metamorphosis


The Insect

There are many different theories on what the insect represents in The Metamorphosis. Some believe that it may symbolize how insignificant and empty Gregor’s life was, and the meaninglessness he found in his job as a traveling salesman. Others believe that it is just a symbol of our society today and the jaded way of modern existence. The insect is a symbol of the human condition. The most agreed upon theory for the meaning of the insects symbol is Kafka’s relationship with his father. The insect is a representation of how Kafka’s father made him feel. His father in real life made him feel small and trapped, just like Gregor as an insect in his room.


The Furniture

The removal of the furniture is a symbol of giving up hope on Gregor’s ability to become human again. The furniture is Gregors link to his human past.


Unclear symbols

There are a few unclear symbols in The Metamorphosis such as the use of the number three. There are three parts of the story, three lodgers and three family members. Another symbol is the uniform the father wears. It could be a representation of his power, but he wears it so long it becomes greasy. This could be a symbol for weakness of his father. Another unclear symbol is the picture of Gregor as a lieutenant. It could represent a time when Gregor did have meaning in life and was fulfilled.


The Picture of the Woman

Hanging on the wall is a picture of a woman in furs. This picture could be a symbol of a love interest for Gregor. It could be an escape for his solitude and his loneliness. The picture could represent something meaningful in a life where he finds no meaning.


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