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The book Metamorphosis, written by Franz Kafka, is based on the
views of existentialism. One of these main views is alienation or
estrangement which is demonstrated by Gregor's relationship with his family,
his social life, and the way he lives his life after the metamorphosis.
Although Gregor doesn't realize it, the relationship between him
and his family is not good. Gregor is taking over his father's
responsibilities leaving nothing for Gregor's father to be responsible for.
At the same time, Gregor is making plans to send his sister to a good
school, but he fails to discuss this idea with her. To make things worse,
Gregor even goes as far as to lock his own bedroom doors at night. He
thinks that his family is content with what he is doing, but the only thing
that Gregor accomplishes is to alienate himself from his family.
Not only is Gregor alienating himself from his family, but he is
also alienating himself from society. Gregor goes on many trips for his
job, and instead of going out to meet people, he stays at the motel and
does nothing. For this reason Gregor doesn't have a friend or a girlfriend
that he can find support in. He follows the same routine everyday of his
life and fails to look ahead into the future. By secluding himself like
this, Gregor's life becomes like the life of a cockroach. It is for this
reason that he transforms into this creature.
Gregor's life as a cockroach is no different than his life as a
human. Whenever Gregor tries to communicate with someone, the only thing
that comes out of his mouth are cockroach noises that scare his family, and
his appearance causes his family to not want be around him. His sister
tries to take care of him, but eventually she becomes weary of this never
ending task and forgets about him. Gregor is once again alienated from his
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family and the rest of society.
Throughout the entire story, Gregor is almost like a total stranger
to everyone. His family is very unhappy while he is taking care of them,
Gregor barely has any contact with the rest of society, and the
metamorphosis causes his family to not want to even be around him at all.
All of these situations are perfect examples of one of the views of
existentialism, or in other words, of alienation or estrangement.