The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka’s is a tale narrated about a man who one fine morning he woke up only to find himself to have changed into an insect. To bring out the tale vividly, Marx’s philosophical and economic manuscripts have been applied thus revealing an overarching metaphor which is giving the improbable tale a big deal of relevance to the society’s structure (Kafka, 2013, p.1). In the story, Gregor Samsa depicts the proletariat or the working class with his manager representing the bourgeoisie. However, the differences that emerge between them when Gregor’s metamorphosis made him be unfit for work depicts the impersonal as well as the dehumanising structure of the class. Nonetheless, the metamorphosis is subdivided into three portions. First, where Kafka forms the characters as well as economic classes that they are representing. Then the details of Gregor’s metamorphosis including ways that it impacts his labour and finally a description of the ultimate outcome of the results of the worker’s incapacity to work (Kafka, 2013, p.1). However, Marx’s theories have been reflected in Kefka’s Metamorphosis to bring out a fantastic depiction of a realistic scene as well as to offer us with a treasured insight into the hard work among the economic classes. This paper, therefore, analyzes how Marx’s philosophical and economic manuscripts are reflected in Frankz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.
Alienation is the key theme within the metamorphosis. Various alienation levels are depicted in the story all through Gregor’s alienation who was a commercial travel worker. To begin with, Gregor distances himself from work then has no loses interest in it although he commits it often as his mother remarked that Gregor thinks about nothing else apart from his work (Kafka, 2013, p.2). Although Gregory does not work in a factory it is certain that his services that he offers as a travelling sales agent, it is not beneficial to him directly. Also, his he is alienated from himself by his own job, even after having a different body, the mind is still glued to the thought patterns, for instance, the regular job tasks engraved within him. Moreover, he encounters alienation out of the material world whereby he is not capable of participating any longer because of his appearances as well as his inability to free mobility (Kafka, 2013, p.13). He also suffers alienation from people close to him including his family.
The transformation indicates Gregor’s breakdown of his psyche including alienation in himself. However, it is not clear on the way the transformation took place; the scenarios that changed his life which just occurred without a warning (Kafka, 2013, p.6). Gregor’s life ought to have become worse but rather expects everything to be the same without any changes (Backhaus, 2017, p. 25). The misery of his like entails his hard work just to appraisal a popular song which asserts that efforts to making ends meet makes enslave one to money and then he or she dies. However, Gregor’s self-identity is accrued to his contribution to society and mostly the way other people are treating him.
To revolt according to a political perspective refers to rebellion against control. However, as per Karl Marx perspective, capitalism structure makes an individual employee play a small role within the whole capitalist system (Marx, 2013, p. 4). As a consequence, the employee does not feel any genuine worth or sense of attachment to the type of work he does or even the alien products obtained from it. Nevertheless, in Kafka’s Metamorphosis, at the point whereby Gregor Samsa wakes up only to find out that he has changed into an insect, he ends up finding himself hopelessly struggling to cope up with his new form. It initially seems like his body behaves contrary to how he expected while also repulsive against his control. Before he transformed Gregor was a human worker thus representing a cog within the capitalist system. However, in his struggles to financially support his family, Gregor ends up becoming trapped in his obligation a travelling salesman; a severe instrument of the chief, pathetic and stupid (Kafka, 2013, p.20). During his natural human form, Gregory represents an insect in which he later turns to be, a worker in a capitalist system. The theories of evolution, as well as degeneration of the 19th century, led to individuals being vulnerable to the belief about the animal inside human beings.
Being a human, Gregor possesses a small and unfulfilling job in the large capitalist system. Essentially, this portrays Gregor working in the same way like a termite or an ant worker, taking a precise, constrained role for the benefit of the society at large (Kafka, 2013, p.22). In this view, his body does not mutiny; it simply tends to become the depiction of an insect’s mentality that capitalism forces unto his mind. Gregory is representing the reverse of the concept of Marxist alienation (Marx, 2013, p. 6). Literally, this is due to his self he does not detach himself from labour. The body of Gregory tends to be representing the role of the requirements of his work, which literally means an insect that works for the better good of the form whereby the functions. The body of Gregory kowtows to the system of a capitalist in which he is part of through transforming into the insect he was mimicking before at work. Therefore, despite his discomfort in his new and current form, the story cannot be easily taken into consideration as revolting since his body does not revolt from a political perspective (Backhaus, 2017, p. 22). Thus, Marxist alienation reflected in this metamorphosis.
Hegemony is referred to as the permeation all through the society of the whole system values, morality, attitudes as well as beliefs which are affecting the support of the status quo relating to power (Marx, 2013, p. 9). Eventually, it is certainly power discourse, morality, cultural and philosophical values of the elites in power who develop itself within the society to be the natural structure of things. The biggest power hegemony is initiated with the top level of controlling of the masses minds. Such hegemony, as well as thought, are controlling the powerful exercises over the labour force can be noted in Gregor’s thoughts evolution. In the absentia of the majority’s consent involving workers, power is under threat to a level of getting dismantled. Just as Gregor remarks regarding his porter as a creation of the spineless, chief as well stupid, other chief require people like this so as to be in power because power undefinable only by itself without the presence of the powerless as well as authority requires masses to exercise power on (Kafka, 2013, p.26). Power discourses have made us believe that success of individuals, social status and also appearance does matter.
Capital, private property and labour
Capital, as well as private property, resources including wealth have a tendency of accumulating within the hand fewer and fewer people and having the masses or those workers who produce wealth left with nothing (Marx, 2013, p. 12). Power is shifting and capital is flowing too but both are concentrated in a few populations. Poverty, on the other hand, is not only a material thing but also of the mind and is a necessary by-product for the capitalist development by means of production. The human workers end up being a commodity utilized for the addition of value to a product as well as losses humanity in the process.
The ultimate capitalist system breaks down is the workforce that is alienated. The metamorphosis of Gregor is symbolic of a commoditized man. The wages of the labourer is simply the overhead cost from an entrepreneur’s perspective. Although payments are made to the laborer, his products are withdrawn from him (Kafka, 2013, p.12). After acknowledging the contributions made by the entrepreneur through the provision of conditions for production, therefore it is significant to note that is impossible to have production without the workforce. The thoughts, as well as laborer’s skills, are channelled to the production. Certain two aspects play a critical role in causing alienation. The first one is objectification which entails getting a product changed into an object instead of an extension worker himself. Additionally, estrangement or alienation at all levels of the product worldwide.
Essentially, the story can be viewed as a workspace deconstruction as well as life through its impacts on the worker’s psyche. It is clear in the story about Kafka’s being fascinated by the servants and the employees. In essence, Gregor’s job is a necessity and not in any way a choice. Gregor also needs to work since he needs to and not since he intends to. Gregor has always spent his life serving others and in no way is it his nature to become defiant. As a result, it is an incidence of indirect coercion on the basis of the notion that human lives are momentary and our fortunes are subjected to urges of fate. By Gregor in defiance to authority against his will looks like he is resisting and such resistance is defined by power though it is actually due to the lack of thinking resistance. Eventually, Gregor lost his direction in life because he could no longer work as well as realizes that he is not a productive to the society.