Comparing Kafka and Samsa

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Show how Kafka’s experiences of life and the times in which he lived may have affected his writing of Metamorphosis.

By comparing Franz Kafka’s life with the life of Gregor Samsa who is the main character of Metamorphosis, I have found many similarities between the two. The first similarity to note is the fact that Samsa and Kafka are similar types of names with the vowels and consonants in the same order. There are also certain characteristics about Gregor, which seem to be a reflection of a part of Kafka’s life. For example, Kafka has been described as “a small anonymous individual trapped in a nightmare…” These words could also be used to describe Gregor. They are both lonely and isolated people with few friends. Gregor ends up transformed into an insect which leaves him with great problems as his life then turns upside down and becomes worse than it was already. Also, in connection to this, Kafka describes himself as weak, ugly and thin, which is sort of what we imagine Gregor to look like after his transformation. In relation to work, Kafka was a legal clerk for some time but he didn’t like it. He said he found it “lacking”. Both Kafka and Gregor worked as travelling sales men, but the difference was that Kafka did it for four years against his father’s wishes whereas Samsa was doing it to pay back his father’s debt. However, Kafka did receive a doctorate in from the German university in Prague in 1906, which was his father’s wish. Gregor hated his job and was a frustrated sort of person. Kafka was also a frustrated person. He got engaged twice to the same girl and broke both of these engagements. Neither of them had any permanent personal relationships with women and never married. They both lived with their family for most of their life. Kafka lived with his family till he was thirty years old and was the breadwinner of the family. This is similar to Gregor’s life as Gregor never seems to have lived alone, and always lived with his family, and was the...
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