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Industrial Representation in Kafka's The Metamorphosis

Images of industry in the text.

In the early twentieth century, major industrial and scientific changes were underway. People everywhere were being affected by the inexorable force of industry, and the silent spread of technology. Eventually, people began to believe in the need to discard the ideas and values of the past, and adopt new ideas which would lead them into the twentieth century. Franz Kafka?s ?The Metamorphosis? is a literary embodiment of this transition. Kafka furtively entangles industrialism within his writing, as well as Gregor?s job and family life.
Throughout ?The Metamorphosis?, Kafka feeds us rich metallic diction, giving us a sense of industrialism. His word choice is highly formal, and allows us to feel their sharpness and angularity when we pronounce them. In explanation as to where Gregor stands within his company, we learn that he is ?? a tool of the boss, without brains or backbone.1085?. Kafka blatantly makes clear that his main character is no more than a tool to his job, an industrial cog in the ever-turning economic wheel. Another nuance in Kafka?s style is his sentence structure. Throughout the story, most of his sentences are generally the same length, and most have the same rhythm. This gives us the sense of formality, and conformity which parallel to Kafka?s use of industrialism within his writing.
In addition to Kafka?s industrialized writing style, we also learn how Gregor is treated by industry within his job. Gregor, as noted before, ?? was a tool of the boss, without brains or back bone.1085?. By this we can understand that Gregor is dispensable, and highly replaceable. There isn?t any sympathy for his situation, nor for that matter, any feelings of remorse by his company if he should get fired. This highly impersonal job atmosphere gives us the impression of a factory where Gregor is a part in a machine. He, at any time, can be cheaply replaced if he ever fails to meet his job standards. When Gregor fails to arrive at work on time, his firm sends down the office manager to check on him. This gives us the sense that Gregor is constantly under the foot of his boss, waiting to be unexpectedly quashed by his ever present manager. Through his job, Gregor feels alienated from everyone else due to how much harder he works. He asks himself ?Were all employees louts without exception, wasn?t there a single loyal, dedicated worker among them who, when he had not fully utilized a few hours of the morning for the firm, was driven half-mad by pangs of conscience and was actually unable to get out of bed?1087?. Gregor feels alienated by other salesmen due to his seeking to be the best worker he could be for his company. This goal prevents him from being like other salesmen, and being like any other worker in his firm.
Just as Gregor is utilized as an industrial piece within his work, he is also used the same at home. His family constantly preys off him, and the funds he brings home to support the family. They do not feel like they need to help work because he does it all, therefore making him nothing more than a source for funds. But, when he is made unable to support the family, everything changes. ?In the course of the very first day his father explained the family?s financial situation and prospects to both the mother and sister.1095?. Caring not for Gregor?s well being, and only of financial situation, Gregor?s family resembles that of a company going bankrupt. The company will fire hundreds of employees to scrap together the last bit of funds that it has to keep itself afloat. Gregor?s family embodies industrial thinking; the parents dismiss the fact that their son is an insect, and they worry about the real problem: money. Clearly, Kafka has designed the family to mirror Gregor?s job situation. They are revealed to only care about Gregor so long that he provides them with money. When he cannot do his purpose, he is forgotten, and disposed of.
Throughout Kafka?s ?The Metamorphosis?, industrialism is intertwined with the writing, as well as Gregor?s job and family life. Kafka expresses his ideas about industrialism through Modernism, and ?The Metamorphosis?. Gregor constantly is considered a tool, in both job and family. Industrialism, as viewed by Kafka, tears into the very bonds of people and breaks them. It constantly pulls people apart by making them thirst for money and financial stability. Perhaps, just as Kafka believes, industrialism will continue to do so. Tear into the very bonds of mankind, securing that sympathy and compassion will be forgotten, in place of money and power?

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