The use of alienation in The Metamorphosis

875 WordsMay 26, 20144 Pages
Honors Topics in Lit 26 September 2013 Alienation of Gregor Franz Kafka’s use of social commentary in the novella The Metamorphosis illuminates destructive effects of alienation through Gregor’s life before and after his transformation into a monstrous vermin and the reactions of his family members on his new body. When Gregor’s body, once a normal humanly figure, begins to change, he finds no purpose to his being as he is incapable of moving out of bed for work. In addition to his body transformation, Gregor also begins to lose his sense of humanity in result of his weakening relationships between his family members. Even before the metamorphosis occurs, Kafka shows Gregor’s feeling of being distanced from his family when he…show more content…
Even though Gregor does not wish to be a salesman, his family needs him for their survival. He demonstrates his frustration when he says, “if I didn’t hold back for my parents’ sake, I would have quit long ago, I would have marched up to the boss and spoken my piece from the bottom of my heart” (Kafka 4). Kafka displays the artificial relationship held between Gregor and his family because if they did not accept him into their family, they would not have the resources to provide for themselves. The damaging effects of alienation are emphasized in the novella The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka’s display of weakening relationships in Gregor’s family and in Gregor’s loss of humanity. The full body transformation that Gregor goes through creates a feeling of confinement as he begins to adapt to his new style of life as an insect. Furthermore, Kafka shows the distancing between Gregor and his family and how they close him out from their conversations and go on living without thinking too much about his death and all that he has done for the family. Kafka’s emphasis on Gregor’s seclusion from his family and society expresses how essential bonds and relationships with family and friends are to an individual’s
Open Document