Kafka's stories are known for their exploration of the nightmare of bureaucracy and the dehumanizing effects of modern life – all of those things we think of when we use the term "kafka-esque." Ever had to deal with the DMV or the IRS? For many people, such institutions exemplify the kafka-esque. These themes are given the light touch in The Metamorphosis, which centers on the conflict between Gregor and his family. But you can still see the kafka-esque working its dismal magic on Gregor's attitude toward his profession and the behavior of characters who are not members of the family.
Gregor's transformation into a vermin is a metaphor for the dehumanizing effects of his life as a traveling salesman.
The changes in the Samsa family fortunes illustrate how class can be as radically transformative as Gregor's own insect metamorphosis.