What are the literary devices in The Metamorphosis? Metaphor, allegory, irony, and imagery are some of Kafka’s most common literary techniques.
Franz Kafka’s novella Metamorphosis was originally published in German as Die Verwandlung and then translated into English. It is a well-known short story written by Franz Kafka. It was first released in 1915, and it immediately sparked controversy among literary critics. Later, it was translated into many other languages, after which it became the basis for writing about/on the strange and psychological issues. The plot, on the other hand, focuses on a poor salesperson who develops an inexplicable desire to become an insect, focusing on the tension of those at the bottom of society as they face increased financial pressure.
Allusion, Metaphor, allegory, irony, and imagery are some of Kafka’s most common literary techniques.
Allusion: Kafka may imply that Gregor is a Christ-like figure through biblical allusions. After his father tosses an apple at him, which is a popular take on the fruit that caused Adam and Eve to fall from grace in the Garden of Eden, he suffers a fatal injury and adopts a posture similar to when Jesus was crucified. According to this reading, like Christianity, it is necessary for the family’s well-being that Gregor die so they may thrive.
The Point of View: The point of view follows Gregor in third person until his death, making him the character with whom readers are most likely to sympathize. Following Gregor’s death, the tale jumps between the remaining characters, but it does not delve too deeply into their minds. In its tone, the narration is matter-of-fact throughout the text, especially considering the fantastic elements included. This detached voice emphasizes how far apart Gregor feels from his human mind and animal body as well as how separate he feels from his family.
Imagery: The imagery throughout emphasizes Gregor’s humanity or lack thereof. The only things detailed in the book—Gregor’s childhood desk and a picture of a woman in furs—are those that connect him to his human past memories and desires. In contrast, the description of Gregor’s spindly insect legs and misshapen physique serves to underscore the disconnect between his mind and body.
Excessive use of figurative language, imagery. It is the process of interpreting something from a position of a certain aesthetic ideal. Of course, talking about aesthetics in The Metamorphosis isn’t easy. However, this is what Kafka employs. Because Gregor was an insect, his view of the world had altered dramatically. To demonstrate this, Kafka employs images. His chamber was reconstructed to make it more suitable for his bulkier human body once it had been outfitted for a guy.
Metaphor: A metaphor is a figure of speech in which words or terms are employed metaphorically. It’s a word or phrase used in a figurative sense. It compares one thing with another based on their shared feature. We’ll go over some more definitions in the book; if you need to understand more, click here. Gregor Samsa’s metamorphosis is an extended metaphor.
Before he becomes a real insect, Kafka depicts Gregor’s actual existence in the life of a beetle. Due to his imprisonment, Gregor is unable to leave his occupation. He is the family’s only source of income. He is indebted to everyone in his family. After the metamorphosis, he disgraced the entire family. He is a parasite in disguise.
Allegory: An allegory is a type of artwork that represents ideas using a unique creative vision. We may consider the entire narrative as an allegory. First and foremost, after his metamorphosis, Gregory resembles a vermin in terms of both physical and mental appearance. The story was written during World War I. A period of major societal and political changes ensued. People at the time felt cut off from one another because of this isolation.
Irony: The irony is a literary device in which the actual meaning goes against the apparent one. Kafka employs many types of irony. Verbal irony is the first example. When Gregor Samsa wakes up as a huge beetle, he blames his job for his current situation. He considers how he will return to it once he has dealt with it. “What a strenuous career it is that I’ve chosen! Traveling day in and day out…” – this sentence is ironic because Gregor “did not” choose this line of work.
Another sort of irony is dramatic irony. When the reader knows something that the characters do not, we think of it as dramatic irony. The reader then finds the actions of the characters to be comical or ridiculous. This is the irony that emerges when boss Gregor chastises Gregor for missing work. He implies that he may lose his job. His lengthy address would have been appropriate in a normal situation. We know all about what occurred, and the chief doesn’t know anything about it.
In conclusion, we should point out that the majority of these strategies are concerned with figurative language. The novella has a lot of these gimmicks. You may discover many more contemporary examples in addition to the existing ones. This essay focuses on the primary methods, while there are numerous additional specific ones. Surrealism is an art movement that fuses dreams and reality together to produce fantastic results. As a matter of fact, it’s much simpler to imagine one’s life as a fantasy rather than as a reality.