Have you ever experience a time when you just wanted to vent out your problems, your thought and opinion about your life but succumb to the fact that even the act of venting will not do you justice or help resolve the issues? Or have you ever felt a time when you wanted to express how you feel but instead, you bit your tongue to stop your comments from portraying you in a negative light, or that your truth will cause the people, the ones that matters, to be in a whole lot of hurt?
This was the case of Franz Kafka; his inability to physically express his opinions to his family in reality, lead him to intellectually pursue his thoughts and relationship into the imaginary, his writings, as displayed in his short novella, “Metamorphosis.” Due to Kafka's life background and the nature of his society in the beginning of twentieth century in Prague, his only and main outlet in expressing his thoughts were to put them down onto paper. As a result, Kafka utilizes these two elements to satirize his internal thoughts into fiction. Although his stories are label as fiction, beyond its contextual interpretation, his stories are a reflection of his life. Needless to say, the most apparent factors that bleed through “Metamorphosis” are Kafka’s life relationship with his family and how he saw himself within that dynamic. Therefore, we can imply that the protagonist Gregor Samsa in “Metamorphosis” can well be the embodiment of Kafka himself. However, because the novella was written in fictional form, where taking the impossible of reality and making it possible, it can be hard to relate the interaction among characters to Kafka real life relation to his family. None the less, through the lens of biographical criticism in the analysis of “Metamorphosis” in exploring the parallel similarities between Kafka and his family to that of Gregor and his family, readers will come to comprehend the reasons behind why Kafka place Gregor with his type of family members.
Furthermore, in order to better understand the method of comparison that I will be applying, one needs to know what biographical criticism is. Biographical criticism is a literary approach that examines a piece of literature as a reflection of its authors’ life (Guerin et al. 5). The techniques use to analyze in this critique is from “research and use of an author’s biography” and if available “often consult the author’s memoirs…”(Boris 1569-1570 ). This critique will help to “interpret the text as well as the author’s stated intentions or comments on the purpose of the composition of the text” (Boris 1570). Therefore, I will be using a biography of Franz Kafka written by Saul Friedlander, who used Kafka’s diary entries and letters as the main source to writing Kafka’s biography, as my main source of comparison to the text of “Metamorphosis.”
Franz Kafka was born in Prague on July 3, 1883. Even though he was the eldest and became the only son born to a middle-class Jewish family; nevertheless, he did...