The Dehumanization And Life Of The Author Of Metamorphosis

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The dehumanization and life of the author of metamorphosis


Metamorphosis is a literary work published in 1915, after the end of World War I in Prague Czechoslovakia, by the Czech Jewish writer Franz Kafka, which presents the life of Gregorio Samsa a fabric merchant who keeps his family with his salary, until a fateful night that does not remember a transformation becoming a huge insect. With the passing of the days the chief or attorney of Gregorio goes home in his search and is surprised with the family of the protagonist of the aspect that this has. With the course of time the family is more departing from him, thus confining Gregorio in his room, his sister is the one who feeds him and the family is forced to work due to the economic difficulties they have.

Franz Kafka, writing metamorphosis, wanted to publicize very highlights of his life, we are shown “how he transmits it in a tragic way in its history, this has similarities to his own childhood and the treatment his family had towards himself" . (Maria, S.f) In the novel we are shown how Gregorio Samsa is treated in a distant way by his own family after the transformation that happens to him and how the story is being developed based on this.

On the author’s side of the author’s life, we are shown that Franz Kafka formed in a German cultural environment, and from the beginning, who marked the pattern of his education was his father, which as a result of his own experience, he insisted on the needof the effort to overcome all the difficulties of life. Always from a permanent attitude of authoritarianism and arrogance towards their children. According to himself, he overwhelmed his existence. In a letter to the father, written in 1919, but published, like almost all his work, posthumously, Kafka expresses his feelings of inferiority and paternal rejection showing himself as a person with low self – esteem, shy and little sociable.(Ruiza, 2004)

The author’s life was one of the most distinctive features he used as a reference for the writing of the work, Franz Kafka worked in an insurance company, lacked a professional ambition, but ascends in charge and finally dedicated his afternoons for the studyof literature while their vacation used them to travel through different countries such as Italy, France, Germany and Austria. In 1912 Kafka gets his first love Felicia Bauer with whom he tries to get married but decides not to do so due to his illness discovered in 1917 after some medical diagnoses that resulted in that he suffered from tuberculosis symptoms.

The disease forced Kafka to spend long seasons in various sanatoriums, first in the Italian Alps and finally in Kierling, near Vienna. In one of them he fell in love with the young Czech Julie Wohryzek, but the radical opposition of Kafka’s father made the marriage impossible. In 1920, the encounter with the Czech translator and journalist Milena Jelenaská became a deep relationship, testified in the letters to Milena, which would see the light in 1952. But neither Kafka nor Milena herself, married to another man, had the breath necessary to break the marriage, and from 1921 they began to distance themselves. He then settled in a country house acquired by his sister, in which he wrote the castle. In 1923, with the disease already very advanced, he met the very young and vital Dora Diamant, the great love he had always longed for, and that briefly returned hope. But in April of the following year his ailments worsened;In the company of Dora Diamant, his friend Max Brod and his uncle’s uncle, he died on June 3, 1924 at the Kierling Sanatorium.(Ruiza, 2004)


In the work we are shown how Kafka used dehumanization which “refers to the act and the effect of stripping of human features.”(Julián P, 2017) thus allowing an approach to the process of degradation of the human being present in the work and in the society of that time. This is used in the protagonist by becoming from one moment to another in a monstrous giant insect, in order to give life to his character. Franz presented through his literature and the use of the grotesque that has the dehumanization of Gregorio, in this particular work, the restlessness produced by society with its alienating effect. Said dehumanization to allow the reader to distance and reflect. In this way, the writer showed an era and expressed the presence of elements of alienation in contemporary civilization, which reflect the crises and tensions that occur in the social and personal level.

Kafka in writing history wantedThey find out of control. The author himself is reflected in the main character, especially when this is already the insect, representing in the work the part of industriousness, low self – esteem, incommunication, childhood traumas and the disease that he possesses. We are also shown the detachment that parents have towards children and how men were the onlyepoch.

On the other hand, in the course of history, we are shown as the author used literary resources such as hyperbole which refers to an exaggeration or disproportion of something, a clear example is shown by exaggerating the most tragic scenes in history suchAs the transformation of Gregorio and how his family left him aside, we are also shown the simile that has the function of comparing 2 terms, one real and an imaginary one, which possess similarities with each other.

The most notorious example in the work is when comparing the author’s life with that of the main character, on the other hand it also highlights the use of anachronistic which is mainly used as a forward or backward movement in time with respect to thepresent of the narrative. In the metamorphosis this resource was used to perform short windows to the past or flashbacks, and to give a linear order to the work. Finally, we are shown an omniscient narrator and the fact that the work is contemporary to the author’s time.


In conclusion, metamorphosis is a metaphor for dehumanization in modern society in an industrial, bureaucratic and anonymous way. The work reflects the author’s life and how he felt with respect to his socioeconomic and existential situation, this shows us in the life of the main character Gregorio Samsa in case such as his dehumanization by becoming the giant insect, thus telling us the degradationthat the human being had at the time of the twentieth century. Evidencing aspects such as the alienation that contemporary society possessed to this showing us the crises and rigidities that produced the social and personal plane. We are also shown how this is also reflected as the bug representing in the work the part of industriousness, low self – esteem, incommunication, childhood traumas and the disease that it possesses. On the other hand, he ends up recounting the family rupture and the full development of capitalism presenting in such a way that his relationship with his father was and the treatment his family had with his childhood. 

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