Alienation in Kafka's The Metamorphosis Essay

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Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

In German, the word Kafka uses to describe Gregor Samsa's transformation is ungezieter, which is a word used by the Germans during his lifetime in reference to the Jews. The literal English translation is "monstrous vermin." Kafka uses Gregor's family to show how inhumane society can be.

In The Metamorphosis, Kafka uses his experiences to create much of Gregor's life. He indicates that Gregor's family only saw him as a means of survival before the change and took advantage of him. After the change the family is unable to communicate with him because they are blinded by his outer appearance. Kafka's life of alienation directly relate to his development of Gregor Samsa, the outcast son who Kafka
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Gregor never mentions a friend or someone outside his family or work that he must explain his predicamt to once he morphs into the hideous bug. Kafka had a booming social life, but did not build any lasting relationships during his life time outside of his family. These two similarities show the personal experience Kafka tied into the character of Greor Samsa.Before Gregor is transformed into the creature, he only the "bread-winner" for his family. Like a work horse he was only there to serve a purpose, to pay the bills. His family alienated him from their lives before the change. Gregor worked hard, kepto himself, and had minimal communication with them because of his long work hours. This is what they came to expect and never tried to change it to included Gregor in the family. When the change takes place, the family is more concerned with how they will survive financially than with Gregor's well-being (28).Lastly, Gregor's family is so disturbed by Gregor's appearance that they cannot find a way to communicate with him. His family has no idea what to do.

Gregor might have slowly been transforming, but they did not notice because they did not care until he could not provide for them. At first they seem to be able to connect the gruesome appearance of the bug with Gregor, but when they can no longer understand him, they cannot fathom that it is their Gregor. They remove his furniture
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