Metamorphosis Essay Introduction

Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements for The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka that can be used as essay starters or paper topics. All five incorporate at least one of the themes found in the text and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements offer a short summary of The Metamorphosis by Kafka in terms of different elements that could be important in an essay. You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them for your essay. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from The Metamorphosis at the bottom of the page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: Family Ties

One of the saddest aspects of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is the fact that young Gregor genuinely cares about his family. From the opening of the story, he is shown to be a person who works hard to support his family, even though they do little for themselves. When Gregor morphs into a cockroach, however, the limits of familial loyalty and empathy are tested. Gregor is rejected from the family and Kafka seems to be making the point that there is no such thing as unconditional love.

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: Character Analysis of Gregor in The Metamorphosis

From the very opening of The Metamorphosis, Gregor is portrayed as a somewhat pathetic character. He works hard for his family in a job that he detests, and receives little, if any, recognition for his efforts. He wants the best for each of his family members, and he wants desperately to be loved by them. When Gregor turns into a cockroach, he is unable to live with the fact that his family will never love him and will always ostracize him. Unfortunately, Gregor does not experience a profound transformation of his character in the same way that he experiences a transformation of his physical body. Although he recognizes that his family will never embrace him, he has difficulty living with this fact. For more information on this topic, check out this extensive analysis of Gregor in “The Metamorphosis” and look for thematic ties on this and other topics listed here for more focus.

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: The Symbol of the Cockroach in The Metamorphosis by Kafka

Kafka’s choice of a cockroach was said to be random and unintentional; however, the fact that the author selected the lowest and most hated of insects, portrayed as dirty, disease-ridden, and disgusting, is profoundly symbolic. By turning Gregor into a cockroach rather than another creature, Kafka sets up a situation in which it is impossible for Gregor’s family to accept him and even more importantly, this makes Gregor feel guilty and trapped. There is no chance for catharsis or connection, and the symbol of the cockroach permits the tension of this psychological dilemma to be exploited to its maximum.

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: Thesis Statement/Essay Topic #5: Irony in The Metamorphosis

The reader does not fail to notice the profound irony in The Metamorphosis. Although Gregor has been transformed into the lowest of all creatures, he actually is more human in his thoughts and feelings than any of the other characters in this tale. Kafka seems to be making an astute observation about the nature of humanity in The Metamorphosis, namely, that human beings are not necessarily the most evolved of all creatures.

For more assistance with “The Metamorphosis” the following articles may be helpful to you :Character Analysis of Gregor in “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka • The Themes of Claustrophobia and Guilt in Kafka’s MetamorphosisTransformation & Narration in Metamorphosis, Gulliver’s Travels and The Death of Ivan Ilych


This list of important quotations from The Metamorphosis will help you work with the essay topics and thesis statements above by allowing you to support your claims. All of the important quotes from The Metamorphosis by Kafka listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes and explanations about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned and explained. Aside from the thesis statements above, these quotes alone can act as essay questions or study questions as they are all relevant to the text in an important way. All quotes contain page numbers as well. Look at the bottom of the page to identify which edition of Kafka's Metamorphosis they are referring to.

“When Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from troubled dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous insect." (64)

“Ah, well, I haven’t given up hope yet; once I’ve got the money together to pay back what my parents owe…that should be managed in five or six years…I’ll make a clean break. (65)

“That gentle voice! Gregor gave a start when he heard his own voice coming in an answer…." (66)

“Gregor was still here and had no intention at all of deserting his family." (70)

“… of course it was the uncertainty that was upsetting the others and that excused their behavior." (70)

“It was true that the words he uttered were evidently no longer intelligible, despite the fact that they had seemed clear enough to him, clearer than before, perhaps…." (73)

“The chief clerk had to be stopped, soothed, persuaded, and finally won over; the very future of Gregor and his family depended upon it!" (76)

“No plea of Gregor’s availed…." (77)

“If only it hadn’t been for that intolerable hissing noise that came from his father! It made Gregor lose his head completely." (78)

“[T]hey stood in a circle round Gregor’s corpse, with their hands in their pockets…." (110)

Here is a link to a great animated telling of The Metamorphosis… Very Cool!

Reference: Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. New York: Crown, 2003.

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2018/03/11 - 08:28



(SP:) An Essay On 'The Metamorphosis'

by Liliana Jimenez

In the metamorphosis by Frank Kafka, there are significants actions and transformations which make the story sad, and strange with a happy ending. Explanations that are dramatic events that intensify the excitement of all these actions. Reality and refection play and important role in this story because the events that happened could be applied and assimilated with modern society.

The story is very sad and realistic, some of the things that are related in Kafka's story can be found in modern families today. Gregor was a man who sacrifies himself working to pay his father's debts, instead off on his own where he could prospered. Gregor never was recognized by his family of all the efforts that he did, he was taken for granted and he was expected to support the family but never considering what his needs and wants might be. When Gregor became a bug, that was the moment when they started to see how important Gregor was financially. As a result his mother, father and sister had to work together, in order support themselves. This could be applied in the real world when people do not really recognize anyone's values or good actions. Sometimes when it is too late is that people start to appreciate, but in Kafka's story Gregor never was appreciate by anyone.

In his transformations, Gregor was rejected by his family like a sick or invalid relative instead of working that much harder to make him well or accepted. They began to ignore him and hide him out of shame. This is exactly what happens in reality when sick people becomes really ill. At the beginning some people starts to feel sorry and they take care of these ill people. Later on, these people become a burden on them. This make the whole Gregor family be against him. Gregor's mother and sister used to clean the room at the beggining. But not at the end. They felt that cleaning out Gregor's room would make him feel happy, or might help him. But they really hurt him. It is painful for someone you loved if you took everything from them. It would make them feel isolated, unwanted and unloved.

Gregor had a crappy, thankless job, and even though it was difficult, he was despised and scrutinized by his coworkers, making the job that much more unpleasant. Gregor was such an isolated and poor person that he cut the picture of the lady with the fur or a magazine to hang on the wall, to remind him of better things. Gregor's metamorphosis into a cockroach is strange but at the same time is reasonable, because insects as beetle, but or cockroaches are associated with old dirty houses, and trash. If Gregor would have been a cat or a dog, his parents would not considered him so disgusting and they would not have rejected him. But in this case, Gregor is a bug and his parents really thought that a giant cockroach is something that must be hidden. This kind of things happens everyday. not the strange thing as transformation into a bug, but the fact that people are not what they seem to be like people who dress or act in certain way. A lot of people are misunderstood and are judged the wrong way.

In spite of all this suffering that Gregor Samsa could not communicate with his family neither to have a normal life, he started to get used to his new enviromnent and his new body. he got used to his food, his living under the couch, climbing in the ceilings, and in certain way he enjoyed those things. In the real world this is the same with a lot people for instance, when a person starts to begin a new life in a different country, like or not, people must get used to new thins, food and lifestyle for their own benefits and try to enjoy as Gregor did.

At the end of the Kafka's story, Gregor Samsa dies and with him dies the huge insect too. But with the end of this transformation starts a new happy one. For instance, Gregor family feels a big sense of relief like if their burden has been lifted off them, and they can start a new life. Grete in the end of the story is a young woman who is willing to strat her career as a musician. All of them are happy, including Gregor himself who stops all this sufferings and rejections from his family.

Samsa could be viewed in modern society as someone who hated his job and everyone around him, but he did not think that the human society was very human at all. Society is a very selfish place, filled with self-centered people, this is how Gregor came to be an insect to his family; Gregor was a big machine and he came to be recognized when neccesity came to the house. This story is very realistic and sad at the same time. It should be applied in society to learn how to recognize when people are worth and appreciate them for what they really are.


Revision: 2011/01/08 - 00:18 - © Mauro Nervi

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