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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 Gregorís relationship with his family,
his social life, and the way he lives his life after the metamorphosis.
Although Gregor doesnít realize it, the relationship between him and
his family is not good. Gregor is taking over his fatherís responsibilities
leaving nothing for Gregorís 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 doesnít 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, Gregorís life becomes
like the life of a cockroach. It is for this reason that he transforms into this
Gregorís 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 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.
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