Social Isolation In Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

Decent Essays
In The Metamorphosis, the social isolation of Gregor Samsa is remarkably realistic and is familiar in the modern world despite the fact that he transmogrifies into a large bug. Kafka writes the story to appeal to psychological realism through the inner feelings of Gregor who has lost the ability to speak. Kafka’s use of psychological realism allows the readers to understand Gregor’s thoughts and to relate to him on a personal level.

In the beginning, Kafka reveals that Gregor was a travelling salesman who hated his job and suffered “the torture of travelling, worry about changing trains, eating miserable food at all hours, constantly seeing new faces, no relationships that last get more intimate” (Kafka Page #). Although Gregor hated his
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By locking him in his bedroom, the family isolates Gregor even more in which Kafka uses to tell the audience that social isolation is not just self-imposed, other people are also a factor in enhancing an individual’s state of isolation. The psychologically realistic aspect of this event is that when a person is exposed to being disgusted by others, they tend to hide which is a common reaction in modern society. Sometimes extreme social isolation can lead to severe negative effects on an individual’s well-being, such as depression. In the final section of The Metamorphosis, Gregor ”thought back on his family with deep emotion and love. His conviction that he would have to disappear was, if possible, even firmer than his sister’s” (Kafka #). This statement causes the audience to empathize and sympathize for Gregor because Gregor is expressing what can be taken as suicidal thoughts. The audience sees that the isolation and loneliness of Gregor which resulted in him becoming depressed and suicidal. All he wanted was love, affection and attention from his beloved family, but they want to get rid of his troublesome bug-like self. Depressed people tend to feel worthless, lonely and unloved , just like Gregor, and sometimes can often indulge in suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thoughts are often romanticized
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