Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka


Description: This paper is a personalized essay: a discussion of text that combines the skills of literary analysis, argument and personal reflection. While close examination of the text is still the primary goal, the reader’s perspective and opinion are brought in as well.

Structure The writing process can be broken down into three steps.

• Identification. Focus on one of the texts from the syllabus( Metamorphosis by Kafka). Select a passage from this text that speaks to you as a reader – one that strikes you as particularly meaningful, interesting and complex in context of the entire work. This may be a short excerpt of just a few lines long, or it can be longer, up to several paragraphs. The important thing is that it stands out as a complete unit and demands close scrutiny, whether in terms of particular theme/image/character or an unusual perspective/wording/meaning, etc.

• Analysis: Examine the passage closely, noting verbal clues and nuances of meaning. Identify the main ideas and themes, motifs, images, devices, tone, point of view, etc. At this stage there is no need for either final interpretation or exhaustive research. Instead, try to focus on the passage itself, teasing out all its details and nuances of meaning. Then, and only then, you may begin to form conclusions about the significance of the passage within the work as a whole.

• Evaluation. Expand your analysis of the passage further to interpret the work in light of your main theme. Ideally this discussion is informed by some research based on critical sources. You may or may not agree with existing interpretations but you should use them as reference points toward explaining what your own position is and why it offers key to the work. You may speak from either a more general perspective or from a more subjective point of view, using the first-person “I” and referring to personal experience when relevant. The important thing is to find an original angle that would shed new light on the passage and illuminate tits hidden depth.

Format: MLA. Note: just like your previous paper, this essay should have an original title followed by topic description (for instance, Marriage, Nastagio Style: the persistence of patriarchy in Boccaccio’s The Decameron ). The closely discussed passage should be quoted in full and all critical sources acknowledged and cited.


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