Loneliness And Ixiety In Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

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The hollow sensation of isolation and the sharp pang of self-doubt are feelings every human can identify with. This is especially true for Franz Kafka, whose life was perpetually haunted by loneliness and anxiety. In his book The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka uses Gregor Samsa as a vessel through which he portrays his insecurities about being an outcast from society and his family, which are a result of his perception of his own self worth. Gregor and Kafka both have strained relationships with their fathers, and feel detached from the rest of their family. Both men rarely develop close bonds with women, which could be a result of their attitude towards their appearances. They are also united in the fact that they feel they alone carry the responsibility …show more content…
Gregor is the only person who works in his family, and he is under constant pressure to earn enough money to keep his mother, father, and sister comfortable. Gregor hates his job and desperately wants to do something else, but is unable to because he must pay off his parents’ debt. Reflecting on his situation, Gregor admits “If I didn’t hold back for my parents’ sake, I would have quit long ago” (Kafka in The Metamorphosis 4). The only thing preventing Gregor from following his dreams is his responsibility to care for his family. He is their sole provider, and this obligation isolates him from his other family members. Kafka has a very similar situation, and he feels he must help his father in his factory despite having his own responsibilities. Kafka has his own job and would like to continue his writing career, but he still feels responsible for helping his parents, and “[he] once again entered the family’s asbestos factory. He also continued working at the insurance company” (Franz Kafka). He feels, out of all of his siblings, he carries the obligation to continue to help his parents, even if it is disadvantageous for him. Kafka writes in a letter to Max Brod, “there is no one here besides me who can go to the factory” (Kafka 104). Kafka feels detached from his family, and that he has no one to share his burden with, which is also reflected in the life of Gregor …show more content…
The barrier between Kafka and his family is recreated in his novella. Possibly because of their low self-esteem, Gregor and Kafka struggle to develop relationships with women, and Kafka’s hardships as a minority appear again through Gregor’s experiences. All of these comparisons between Kafka’s life and his works of fiction can be attributed to Kafka’s perception of his value as a human being. His family made him feel needed only when he was working. Kafka despised his own appearance and was extremely self-critical, even when his books received praise from other esteemed authors. Growing up in a ghetto is demeaning and dehumanizing, resulting in Kafka’s warped view of his self-worth. Kafka felt worthless in the world, and, as a result, felt as if he was separated from everyone by an insurmountable barrier. Kafka’s life was a long, winding road filled with grueling obstacles. Only through writing was he able to express his feelings of misery and isolation, and find

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