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The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is a literary work that tries to explore in detail the essence of personal identity through the use of the protagonist, Gregor Samsa. At the beginning Gregor is described as a travelling sales man. Due to the challenges he is going through especially those of his families and his job, when he goes to bed, he starts to get illusions. He sees himself as having been transformed into a big insect with numerous legs. In this case, he loses his identity and what he goes is just illusions of his family members who are coming to him in his room including his mother, father and sisters as well as his office manager.
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Through this metamorphosis, one major factor that the writer tries to unearth is human relationships at family level as well as at place of work. Gregor' family regards him as just the source of income not caring about his feelings and capacity (Kafka, 1996). Therefore he just gets into illusions of how he can get income and deliver his family from poverty. His family does not either fulfill their duty to take for him even after metamorphosis. He is just alienated by being locked into a room. Even his sister is tired of giving him food and cleaning his room.
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In this case, Kafka through the themes evident in the metamorphosis tries to look into the important of one maintaining his or her personal identity. Gregor loses his identity due to the prevailing circumstances of his life. For example, in the illusions he sees his office manager who comes to warn for missing work. Although he does not like his job, he is compelled by the circumstances at his family to work. Later he becomes more comfortable with his transformed body. His mother and father do not care for him (Kafka, 1996).
This tries to bring to the surface cases where parents do not care for their children. According to the Kafka, economic reasons can ruin family relations and subject people to dehumanizing conditions. People may value one just because he is able to earn income but when the situation reverses, they do not see him as human anymore. However, at the end through her sister, he is able to regain his identity.
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In conclusion, through the Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, we are able to learn several aspects concerning family relationships, effects of loss of personal identity, effect of negligence that may lead to guilt and suppression of personal freedom.
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