Exploration of Alienation

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Exploration of Alienation “It has to go”, cried his sister. “That’s the only answer, Father. You just have to try to get rid of the idea that it’s Gregor. Believing it for so long, that is our real misfortune. But how can it be Gregor? If it were Gregor, he would have realized long ago that it isn’t possible for human beings to live with such a creature, and would have gone away of his own free will” (Kafka 52). The relationship between family member’s in Kafka’s Metamorphosis is an interesting theme addressed, and somewhat distressing subject. Why is it so hard to accept that this monstrous bug is Gregor? Is it so bad for him to want to stay and be near his family- the only thing he’s ever had and known? For the sister to even come out and say these words seems somewhat selfish. Why can’t it be turned around to a viewpoint through which we have a family loving their son, unconditionally, regardless of what state he’s in? The word love is definitely one which is not seen in close companionship with the Gregor family. And we can see that this lack of affection carries on to be one of the driving forces behind the theme of alienation in the novel. Alienation throughout the metamorphosis is conveyed to the reader time and time again through instances and circumstances subjected upon Gregor. Right from the start we get a sense of this situation as we explore Gregor’s job stasis. He is a traveling salesman. The major problem with this occupation is the fact that he is constantly moving and seeing new faces, making it virtually impossible for him to form lasting relationships (Kafka, 4). Landsberg observes that “This little experience occurs over and over again in the unstable life of a commercial traveler. It is not by chance that Kafka gave his hero this vocation, which like no other tends to render impossible any continuity in life” (Landsberg 125). Gregor is not in one place long enough to make any lasting connections so he absorbed by a state of loneliness. Adding to this is the fact that he is the only one in his family who is working (Kafka 16).So even before his transformation we see our character was alienated in his job field. Now Gregor’s situation only worsen’s when he is unable to attend this alienating job.
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