In The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, what are examples of figures of speech?

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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At the beginning of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, one figure of speech that is used is personification, which is giving an inanimate or non-human object a human characteristic.

...Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams...

The dreams are not anxious, though Gregor may be. Another figure of speech is found in the use of a simile. This is when two dissimilar things with similar characteristics are presented as the same thing, while using "like" or "as" in the comparions.

Other travelling salesmen live like harem women.

The salesman and the harem women are different, but the life of leisure that Gregor imagines they share is similar. The next figure of speech used is hyperbole. This is when exaggeration is used to create a certain effect.

Yes, but was it possible to sleep peacefully through that noise which made the furniture shake?

Obviously, the alarm clock must be loud, but it certainly is not loud enough to make a table or chair shake. The impression Gregor is trying to impart is that with such a loud alarm, it makes no sense that he could sleep through the sound; we can assume this has never happened before.


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