Alienation in the Metamorphosis

Alienation of Gregor Samsa
Alienation in any society would make a person feel helpless and alone. In Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa changes into vermin and is completely alienated from his world. He is no longer is able to have normal relationships, and he loses all communication with other people. The theme of alienation is explored through his relationship with his family and even through his relationship with himself.
The alienation of Gregor is unmistakably depicted through his relationship with his family. Gregor is forced to stay in his bedroom, and he is almost always without human interaction. Enticed by Grete’s violin playing, Gregor enters the living room but notices that the lodgers, for whom she is playing, are not appreciating the music she is creating. Gregor feels the need to defend her, but he is seen by the lodgers so he retreats to his bedroom and “He was hardly inside his room when the door was hurriedly slammed shut, firmly bolted and locked” (Kafka 53). Now that Gregor is this hideous bug, no matter how hard he tries, he can no longer protect his family because they no longer view him as Gregor. He is kept away from them and wandering the apartment is out of the question. Gregor is kept isolated in his room as Sheldon Goldfarb explains, “Gregor's repulsive appearance means he has to remain in his room, a prisoner, completely isolated. His existence was always a fairly lonely one, but this is worse: as far as friendship and intimacy are concerned, Gregor's transformation is not an escape from his past loneliness but an intensification of it” (“Critical Essay”). Now that this transformation has occurred, his family cannot stand the sight of him. Although he may have felt alone before, now he is completely shunned from the outside world. He is not accepted his family and forced to become a recluse. Ultimately, Gregor’s alienation reveals the seclusion that is inflicted on him by his family members and his incapability to...