The Metamorphosis, written by Franz Kafka, is a novella that tells the story of Gregor Samsa – a man who wakes up one day to find himself transformed into a giant insect. The story has been interpreted in many ways, but one of the most prominent lenses through which it is viewed is existentialism.

Existentialism is a philosophy that focuses on individual existence and freedom. It emphasizes the importance of personal choice and responsibility in shaping one’s own life. The Metamorphosis can be seen as an existentialist work for several reasons.

Firstly, the story highlights the isolation and alienation that Gregor experiences after his transformation. He becomes separated from his family and society at large, unable to communicate with them effectively or participate in their lives. This sense of disconnection reflects the idea that individuals are ultimately alone in their existence and must find their own meaning in life.

Secondly, Gregor’s transformation can be seen as a metaphor for the human condition itself. Like Gregor, we are all born into a world that we did not choose and cannot control. We must navigate our way through life with limited agency, facing obstacles and challenges along the way.

Finally, The Metamorphosis explores themes of identity and self-discovery. As Gregor grapples with his new form, he begins to question his own sense of self and purpose. This reflects the existentialist belief that individuals must create their own identities and meanings in life, rather than relying on external factors such as societal expectations or religious doctrine.

Overall, The Metamorphosis can be read as an existentialist work that explores themes of isolation, freedom, identity, and self-discovery. By using Kafka’s skillful prose to convey these ideas through Gregor’s transformation into an insect – readers are left with a thought-provoking exploration of what it means to exist as an individual in an often overwhelming world.


In conclusion, The Metamorphosis is a powerful work of literature that speaks to the human experience on many levels. Through its exploration of existentialist themes such as isolation, freedom, identity, and self-discovery – the novella encourages readers to reflect on their own lives and what it means to exist in an often-confusing world. By incorporating elements such as bold text, underlined text, lists, and subheaders – this article has sought to make these ideas engaging and accessible for readers.