An exploration into the theme of alienation in Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.
The paper examines the character, Gregor, in Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” and discusses the main theme – that of alienation – by showing what Gregor goes through when he turns into a bug. The author of the paper questions whether many of the feelings expressed by Gregor were actually autobiographical elements of Kafka’s own life when he grew up alienated due to his beliefs.
By the final part of the story, part III, Gregor is nearly forgotten about. Grete does not notice if he eats or not, his room is hardly ever cleaned, no one even mentions him at all. Gregor begins growing bitter, angry and resentful, which must have been Kafka’s own feelings for his father. Gregor’s nagging injury (the apple in his back) causes his mobility to remain limited, and yet he still hopes to find some way in which to reach out to his family. When he finally dies, it is almost at the request of his family. The family is discussing how Gregor cannot be anywhere in the bug’s body – if it were Gregor, he would have left and spared them the awful horror of dealing with an insect. Gregor agrees, and quietly retreats to his room to die. This line of thinking seems to comfort Gregor – he alienates himself from the insect he has become, in order to accept that his life is over, and that he must die.