Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka - Alienation Analytical Essay

Topics: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Vladimir Nabokov Pages: 3 (824 words) Published: April 23, 2014
Gabriele Raine Baljak
English 11
Mr. Robert Barry
November 4th 2013

Alienation in the Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

In the novella, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, a story about a young man named Gregor who was alienated from his job, his humanity, his family and even his body. Gregor barely notices his metamorphosis into a bug; life remained the same for him. After the metamorphosis, Gregor feels completely alienated from his room and environment, a symbol of this was through him being unable to see the street through his window. The metamorphosis is a powerful indictment of alienation brought by the life of Gregor. Franz Kafka’s novella has a thematic concern on the effects of alienation caused by friends, colleagues, family and Gregor himself.

First, we look at the people around Gregor, his colleagues, acquaintances and friends. The cook, she is filled with fear at the thought or sight of Gregor. Another is the maid, Anna who is not fearful of him but chooses to keep her distance and requests to be in the kitchen while the door is locked whenever she is not needed in the rest of the house. From the house keepers we can see that they try to stay away from Gregor, to alienate him from them, for reasons of fear. Another is the depth of response from Gregor’s Office Manager, he shows up at the Samsa house asumming the worst, that he has ran away with money from the job. When in fact, he displays fear and repulsion in the reaction of “Oh,” when he saw Gregor, he then leaves the house. What I have seen from these three characters they are not close to him. They either have a reaction of fear or disgust. They represent the type of people that naturally fear or look down on someone who is different, so they simply alienate what they see, Gregor.

Secondly, we will look into the family’s reaction, which is different from those who do not know him; the alienation is on a deeper level. His mother is kindest to him, her initial reaction to seeing Gregor...

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Eggenschwiler, David. “The Metamorphosis, Freud, and the Chains of Odysseus.” Modern Critical Views Franz Kafka. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea, 1986.199-219.
Greenberg, Martin. “The Death of an Outcast.” Readings on The Metamorphosis. Ed. Hayley Mitchell Haugen. San Diego: Greenhaven, 2002. 62-73.
Kafka, Franz. “The Metamorphosis.” Literature An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing. 10th ed. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Pearson,2007. 317-347.
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