In The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Gregor is used as an individual that struggles with humanity due to the alienation provided by his family. This is relevant to existential views of society be reflecting its cruelty towards others. Through this his struggles and feelings of loneliness are perceived and created through Kafka’s strong use of pathos.
Gregor, the outcast, was once thought of as the provider and he was in charge of his family’s wellbeing. When he first realized he had transformed he was more worried about how he would continue providing for his family rather than the transformation itself. His family, however, was more worried about themselves instead of trying to help Gregor, much like most people react in our society. “…his hand against his open mouth and backing away slowly as if repelled by an invisible force” (16) both the clerk’s and his family’s reaction are a representation of society, when people are put into a situation they are not comfortable in they tend to react negatively and at times they are clueless as to how to react. When Gregor’s transformation took place not only did it affect him but his family as well, and like others in our society they thought of how hard the transition would be on their comfortable lifestyle before they worried about what should be done to help Gregor. Their sincere reactions provided the story with a realistic element that helped make it more authentic.
Existential ideals become apparent through Gregor’s continuous struggle with his humanity by using conflicting beliefs of the individual as an indication. Gregor was once a man like everyone else and obeyed the rules of humanity making the right from wrong clear to him. Once he transformed however he began to adapt with his new body and things that felt wrong to his past self began to feel right. The first instance where this becomes evident is when his preference of food begins to change. Gregor mentions that he loved milk...
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