Alienation In Kafka's The Metamorphosis

1500 Words6 Pages
In The Metamorphosis, Gregor, who has transformed into a vermin, has ignored his transformation and worries about not being able to aid to his family financially. One could say that Gregor’s primary role is to fulfill the role of the financial provider in his family, as he is the only one that works. The father, however, chooses not to take this role and expects Gregor to fulfill this role. When Gregor does not meet up to this expectation, it frustrates the father, as he must begin working. This shows that the father has always been able to work, but would rather not burden himself with this task, and when Grete starts to work afterward it proves this. Afterward, Grete, Gregor’s sister, starts to work independently and realizes that Gregor…show more content…
This is first shown at the beginning of the text when ”Gregor’s father seized the chief clerk’s stick in his right hand… picked up a large newspaper from the table with his left, and used them to drive Gregor back into his room, stamping his foot at him as he went.“(Kafka, 10). It could be said that the father pushing Gregor into his room, symbolizes alienation, and could also be a foreshadow to Gregor’s isolation. This also shows how the father does not concern himself with Gregor’s transformation, which displays absurdity, a key pillar of existentialism and a motif of the text. Merriam-Webster defines existentialism as, ”a chiefly 20th century philosophical movement embracing diverse doctrines, but centering on analysis of individual existence in an unfathomable universe and the plight of the individual who must assume ultimate responsibility for acts of free will without any certain knowledge of what is right or wrong or good or bad“. This definition applies to the Metamorphosis, as Gregor is in an ”unfathomable universe“, and assumes ”ultimate responsibility for acts of free will“, as he believes he is responsible for forcing his family to provide for themselves. The father confirms the argument that he wants to alienate Gregor after Gregor’s death when he says, ”’Now then… let’s give thanks to God for that’“(Kafka, 27-8). This shows that even though his son has died, he still considers him as an ”it“, for he shows little sympathy for his death. Finally, now that Gregor is gone, the father is at peace with himself, and he takes his wife and daughter, and move out of their home. This shows how the father also believed that Gregor was holding them back, as they need to take care of him, and now that he cut him loose he can finally move
Open Document