The use of alienation in The Metamorphosis Essays

880 Words May 11th, 2014 4 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
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This is evident when “[Gregor] could not resist snapping his jaws several times in the air. At this his mother screamed once more, fled from the table, and fell into the arms of his father” (Kafka 17). Kafka shows the family’s limiting acceptance of Gregor’s alienated body when Gregor has to crawl underneath his couch and crush his body in order for Grete and his mother to move the furniture to give him more room for his insect lifestyle. Even though he and his sister have been close throughout the years, their relationship weakens as she is no longer able to carry out the task of feeding him every day. Kafka shows that even the greatest bonds can be broken by estrangement especially when Grete can no longer stand being held responsible for taking care of her brother. Grete exclaims, “I won’t pronounce the name of my brother in front of this monster, and so all I say is: we have to try and get rid of it. We’ve done everything humanly possible to take care of it” (Kafka 48). When Grete refers to Gregor as “it” she furthers the point that Gregor’s humanity is taken away by his metamorphosis. Shortly after waking and discovering that he has become a bug, Gregor reflects on his life as a traveling salesman, noting how superficial his relationships have become. His constant traveling limits the time he spends with his family and the decency of his conversations with his mother and father. Kafka reveals

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