What Are Some Interpretations of Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis"?


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Many have interpreted Kafka's portrayal of Gregor Samsa, the man who wakes up as a disgusting bug, as biographical. Other popular interpretations are psychoanalytical, political and philosophical.

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The biographical interpretation holds that Kafka's main character in "Metamorphosis" is in fact, Kafka himself. Gregor Samsa wakes up and finds that he has been transformed into a disgusting bug. Rather than elucidate how or why it happened, the book continues on with Gregor and his family attempting to come to terms with his transformation. In this interpretation, Kafka's character symbolizes of his own feelings of alienation.

The psychological interpretation views Gregor's belief that he is in a dream and his struggles with his father as referring to Sigmund Freud's work. Those championing a more political perspective view Gregor's alienation as that of the worker in a Marxist view of a capitalist society. In this interpretation, Gregor's struggles with his inability to work and his relations with others are symbolic of class struggles.

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