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The Metamorphosis written by Franz Kafka in 1912 follows several societal patterns that are frequently observed in Kafkas other works The idea of growth and degradation is one of these patterns Another is the aspect of human nature that causes deception as a defensive device Within The Metamorphosis these two key patterns come together to create a story that employs magic realism and dream logic to create a drama of illness It is said in Roy Pascals book Kafkas Narrators A study of his stories and sketches that the abstract structure of the story forces the reader to look beyond the surface network of the story for another symbolic meaning 39 By taking a closer look at these two together deeper meaning and insight is found The concept of degradation versus growth is central to the meaning of The Metamorphosis The story opens at the beginning of Gregors decent to death with the climax of the story in the first sentence The story itself is merely the working out of the climax Unlike some of Kafkas other stories the metamorphosis is not manifestly connected with any idea with any idea of punishment or self-punishment but merely stated without explanation at the beginning it is now on the punishment itself that Kafka dwells at length Luke 105 This punishment that Luke speaks of is that for the unforgivable offense of self-assertion 104 of which Gregor is guilty of when he takes over the role of breadwinner in the family Gregors deterioration follows another commonly found pattern of Kafkas stories the hero falls from corporal self-sufficiency to hunger and then to death and silence Thiher 40 This pattern can also be observed in Kafkas A Hunger Artist and in The Judgement Though at first the reader may want to interpret the metamorphosis as metaphorical it is meant to be taken literally The process of Gregors transformation and decline to death is clearly illustrated by the division
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