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In Franz Kafka’s 'The Metamorphosis': Why Does the Protagonist Dislike his Job?

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Gregor’s metamorphosis accomplishes several of his aims: First, it frees him from his hated job with an odious company by using disabling him from working; second, it relieves him of the requirement to make an agonizing desire between his filial duty to his parents—particularly his father—and his desperate yearning to emancipate himself from such responsibilities and dependence. It as a consequence allows him to “bug out” of his loathsome constraints yet do so on a degree of aware innocence, with Gregor only a victim of an uncontrollable calamity. Moreover, Gregor’s fantasies encompass aggressive and retaliatory motions against the oppressive firm. He accomplishes this by way of terrorizing the pitiless, arrogant workplace manager, who tells him, “I am speakme right here in the identity of your dad and mom and your chief.” On the aware level, Gregor pursues the clerk to appease him and invulnerable his advocacy for Gregor’s motive at the office; subconsciously, his threatening appearance and curiously hostile gestures humiliate his hated superiors.

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Gregor’s trade additionally expresses his experience of guilt at having betrayed his work and his parents, at having broken the familial circle. It is a treacherous appeasement of this guilt complex, inviting his isolation, punishment, and death. His loss of human speech prevents him from communicating his humanity. His full-size size, though two ugh an insect (he is at least two feet wide), his ugly features, and his malodorous stench invite fear and revulsion. Yet his pacific temperament and lack of claws, teeth, or wings make him always greater susceptible than when his body was human. His metamorphosis, therefore, gives him the worst of each world: He is offensive in look however defenseless in fact, exposed to the merciless assault of anyone—such as his furious father—ready to exploit his vulnerability.

“The Metamorphosis,” then, can be seen as a punishment fantasy with Gregor Samsa feeling triply responsible for having displaced his father as the main breadwinner for the family, for his hatred of his job, and resentment of his family’s expectations of him. He turns himself into a detestable insect, thereby both rebelling in opposition to the authority of his firm and father and punishing himself for this revolt by searching for estrangement, rejection, and death. Insofar as Gregor’s physical manifestation constitutes a translation of the interior self to the exterior world, “The Metamorphosis” is a stellar fulfillment of expressionism.

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In Franz Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis’: Why Does the Protagonist Dislike his Job? (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2023, from
“In Franz Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis’: Why Does the Protagonist Dislike his Job?” Edubirdie, 21 Apr. 2023,
In Franz Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis’: Why Does the Protagonist Dislike his Job? [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2023].
In Franz Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis’: Why Does the Protagonist Dislike his Job? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2023 Apr 21 [cited 2023 Dec 8]. Available from:
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