The Unloving Society In The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka

1023 words - 4 pages

In The Metamorphosis, through the characterization of Gregor Samsa, Franz Kafka can question the existence of unconditional love. Throughout the post-modernist era, writers argued against society’s ideas and customs, and Kafka decided to narrow it down to focus on was the lack of love among people in this time. Kafka begins by making his argument evident through a through description of Gregor’s room, which is depicted as an isolated area in the house for Gregor. He later on goes to describe Gregor’s personality as one who is dedicated to his family and gives little time to himself and his own social life. Also, Kafka’s choice of what creature Gregor is transformed into, a large bug, helps establish the idea of the Gregor’s unimportance to his family and the idea that Gregor’s disability now makes him a pest rather than one who the family should care for more. By combining the setting of the room, with Gregor martyr like personality and his pest like existence according to his family and society, Kafka can justify his idea of the non-existence of unconditional love today in society.
Through the description of the setting of the room, Kafka illustrates Gregor’s sense of alienation from others. From the very beginning, Kafka depicts a “regular human bedroom, if a little small, lay quiet between four familiar walls” (Kafka 7). Through this thorough description, establishes that Gregor lives a very quiet and alienated life, solely dedicated to his family and responsibilities with his boss and job. By showing his alienation from society and dedication to being at home, Kafka depicts Gregor as the only character in the story to unconditionally love someone, which is his family. This contrast between the amount of characters who truly love someone and those who do not reveals the small amount of our population today that truly loves anyone and depicts an emotionless society. Kafka then further nurtures this idea by showing how Gregor “…. hung a picture he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine” (Kafka 7). Kafka once again manipulates the setting to expand on the idea of Gregor’s lack of a social life and to suggest that Gregor could possibly wish to have a social life but does not due to his devotion to his family. By manipulating the setting, Kafka sets up a stage to then further unfold his view of society
As the story continues, Kafka goes on to characterize Gregor as a martyr like character to his family. Kafka exemplifies this idea by demonstrating Gregor’s reaction when he first finds out that he has now become a bug. Gregor’s first thoughts about this such as his boss’ possible reaction like “… a bawling out from the boss was inescapable” (Kafka 8), and his concern for being on time to work and not missing his train display his apathetic views of himself. This reaction completely contradicts what the average “normal” person at this time would do, and this further clarifies Kafka’s belief in that his unconditional love is seen...

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