Death's Significance in Kafka's Metamorphosis

Topics: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Gregor Samsa Pages: 2 (532 words) Published: November 20, 2008
The Profound Side of Death
When is death not meaningful? The nature of this idea seems only gloomy, but death also has profound qualities. In The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Gregor Samsa’s death ultimately reflects on themes like guilt and freedom that progress throughout the novella. His dying helps tie the story together by effectively solidifying each of these specific themes.

Gregor’s death ultimately spotlights a feeling of guilt through his everyday actions and behaviors. This sentiment signifies Gregor’s strongest afflicting emotion throughout the course of the novella. Gregor is swallowed with guilt the moment his alarm clock fails to go off. Despite Gregor’s hideous transformation, the consequences of his absence from work become an issue “What if Gregor reported sick? But that would be extremely embarrassing and suspect…he had never been sick even once” (5). He worries most about his occupation and his inability to provide for his family. Gregor expresses his guilt while listening to family discussions by, “throwing himself on the cool leather sofa nearby, for he felt quite hot with shame and grief” (18). He cannot stand how much his family needs him all the while uncovering his true identity in the family. In the end, Gregor realizes that his wellbeing only serves as a burden in his family’s life. After Gregor’s family put so much time and energy into taking care of him while juggling jobs and finances, he recognizes that he is the sole obstacle of contentment. Gregor ultimately lives and dies out of the same intention – by guilt. Along with Gregor’s emotions, his unsuccessful ambitions drive him down an agonizing path towards death.

Freedom, alongside the aspirations to achieve this freedom, equally propels Gregor towards his imminent demise. Every facet of his life, insect or human, severely restricts his freedoms as an individual. He works as a traveling salesman and hates every minute of it “Oh God, what a strenuous...
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