"Main Themes Of Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka" Discusses Themes And Issues Brought Up Through Characters And Storyline

811 words - 4 pages

Economic effects on human relationships: Gregor is enslaved by his family because he is the one who makes money. Thus, with the possible exception of his sister, the family seems to treat him not as a member but as a source of income. When Gregor is no longer able to work after his metamorphosis, he is treated with revulsion and neglected. Once the family begins working, they also find difficulty communicating with each other, eating dinner in silence and fighting among themselves. The exhaustion of dehumanizing jobs and the recognition that people are only valuable so long as they earn a salary keeps anyone who works isolated from others and unable to establish human relations with them. ...view middle of the document...

After his metamorphosis, Gregor feels completely alienated from his room and environment and, as a symbol of this, can't even see his street out the window. The Metamorphosis, then, is a powerful indictment of the alienation brought on by the modern social order.
Freedom and escapism: Gregor is trapped in his job by his duty to his family, but he dreams of the day when he can finally pay off their debts and quit his job. His need for freedom from the restrictive demands of work is expressed in his metamorphosis, by means of which he escapes. This escape, however, fails to bring Gregor freedom, for he is now imprisoned by his family in his room. Thus, when Gregor works, he is enslaved by his job and, when he doesn't work, he is enslaved by his family. There is no way of balancing out freedom and duty, and in the end one is always a slave. The only means of escape turns out to be death.
Guilt: Guilt stems from family duty, and is Gregor's most powerful emotion. When he is transformed into an insect, Gregor is made unable to work by circumstances beyond his control. Despite the fact that his metamorphosis is not his fault, however, he is racked by guilt every time that the family mentions money or that he thinks...

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