Read the short story “the Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka. Explain the role of authority in the story and the uniform as a specific symbol (250 words). Note that the page numbers below refer to our anthology; the online version of the story is a different translation, though it should be easy enough to understand the context of these moments.
Consider these points: In the dining room of the Samsa household, there hangs “a photograph of Gregor from his army days, in a lieutenant’s uniform, his hand on his sword, a carefree smile on his lips, demanding respect for his bearing and his rank” (474).
Later in the story, Gregor’s father secures a job at a bank, where he must also wear a uniform: “Now he was standing there in fine shape; dressed in a smart blue uniform with gold buttons, such as bank messengers wear….”(488).
The narrator further explains that “with a perverse obstinacy his father refused to take off his uniform even in the house.” The narrator further explains that Gregor (as an insect) would often stare all evening long at this garment…” (489).
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