The Metamorphosis Questions and Answers
by Franz Kafka

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In what ways is Gregor's metamorphosis symbolic in Kafka's The Metamorphosis?

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There is a great deal of symbolism in Kafka's The Metamorphosis. One example is the question of whether Gregor's transformation is symbolic of his sense of alienation? Is he a bug or is he simply feeling alienated from all those around him in that he is not appreciated?

The first line of the story begs the question of whether the story is a dream:

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in hi bed into a gigantic insect.

There is supposed to be a great deal of symbolism in dreams, so Kafka may be suggesting, by introducing the possible presence of a dream, that this might simply be a…nightmare. Gregor works very hard and it is no surprise that he might worry in his sleep about the job that is so important to his family. The vision of turning into an insect could actually symbolize his desire not to have to return to a job he hates.

One of the themes of the story is alienation and self-sacrifice. With this is mind, it has been argued that Gregor is...

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alexandinho | Student

The biggest symbolism is one that pretty much everyone misses. Gregor is not and never is real. He is symbolic of the state. The family we know were once proud working people, but gradually they drop work and become reliant on Gregor. Eventually thru realise the horror of that life and start to build their own lives again, and as soon as they are Bo longer reliablynt on Gregor, they're suddenly much happier and productive members of society. Ie when they're not reliant on the state but on themselves, they are happiest.