Seclusion and Alienation in the Metamorphosis
Language A: Literature The Composed Assignment Alienation and Isolation in The Metamorphosis May 2013 Word Count: 1480 The Transformation by Franz Kafka is a reflection on how alienation and isolation begin and develop in a society by using the characters in his novella as a representation of society as a whole.
Utilizing Gregor’s manager to demonstrate the initiation of isolation and alienation of a person, Gregor as the individual being separated and the occupants of the Samsa household as the other members of society, Kafka creates a reliable model to represent the hierarchically structured result of isolationism and alienation in society on a bigger scale. Kafka uses the business Gregor is required to work for to highlight the hierarchical impact of isolation and alienation, where the initiation of isolationism begins at the top of the hierarchy and therefore creates a causal sequence down through the rest of society.
The supervisor of the business that Gregor should work for due to a household financial obligation is the representative Kafka selects to demonstrate the most crucial person in the hierarchy. By getting up as a bug and being late for work, Gregor has broken his conformity to the criteria of what is endured by the company, so the manager himself comes to handle the problem because such situations can “only be entrusted to the intelligence of the supervisor” (Kafka, 13). This, in addition to how the family treats the manager as perfectly as possible when he shows up shows the importance of the supervisor’s choices and their regard for authority.
Additional showing the value of his choices, the manager is the first to react to Gregor’s transformation by threatening, “your position is not the most secure” (17) when Gregor will not open his door. This shows that he has the capability to entirely disrupt Gregor’s location in the hierarchy and in doing so, isolate and alienate him from the rest of society. The manager remarks, “that was an animal’s voice” (20) when Gregor speaks, which pushes away Gregor from humanity and responds highly to the sight of Gregor by “pressing his hand against his open mouth and moving back gradually” (23 ).
After firing Gregor, the manager flees the structure which triggers the initiation of Gregor’s isolation since work was the most important and most time consuming thing in his life. This shows that as with society in basic, the person in charge holds incredible influence over the rest of the population and can starting the idea that a person must be isolated. Just because the figure in power decrees that a person is not a great member of society and need to be separated, however, does not mean that all members of society react the exact same method. he spectrum of views that members of society take against those who have been isolated is revealed through Kafka’s portrayal of the Samsa household’s response to his improvement. Gregor’s father represents those who respect authority and right away concur with those higher in the hierarchy and unquestioningly aid in the seclusion process. He wears a “blue uniform with gold buttons” (62) even when he is at home, asleep on a chair in the living room which demonstrates the value he places on the system.
This is also shown as quickly as the manager responds to Gregor’s deviation from typical when Mr. Samsa begins to “drive Gregor back into his space by waving the walking cane and the paper” (29 ). Other family members, however, react differently to the circumstance. Grete is the closest to Gregor and is the most supportive to him instantly after his change by putting milk in his room, which “was his preferred drink and which his sister had actually currently positioned there for that reason” (34 ).
Her reaction to Gregor’s seclusion shows the reverse of Mr. Samsa’s by being as thoughtful as he is strong in Gregor’s alienation. Her relationship with Gregor demonstrates how in society, those who understand the individual being isolated prior to its initiation are most likely to resist assisting to enforce the seclusion. Nevertheless, Kafka comprehends that individuals are very vibrant and typically change their opinions. Grete undergoes a change in point of view to such a degree that by the end of the novella it is she who states, “we should eliminate it” (84 ).
This modification in point of view shows how Kafka believes that members of society frequently stop having compassion with the separated group when it becomes inconvenient for them to continue doing so. Gregor’s mom reacts in a preliminary manner somewhere between the father and sibling because when first seeing him she “went two steps toward Gregor and collapsed right in the middle of her skirts” (23 ). These conflicting desires continue through the novella, such as when Mr. Samsa attempts to kill Gregor, “she begged him to extra Gregor’s life” (65) but at the same time she is repulsed by him.
This illustrates how she wishes to assist him and attempts to think of him the same way she did before his transformation, yet is not able to. This resembles the idealists in society who theoretically support the alienated person but frequently succumb to public opinions when they are forced to deal with the problem. These 3 reactions to Gregor’s improvement as a result of the initiation of his isolation by the supervisor show the spectrum of reactions. From the instant approval of the hierarchy represented by Mr.
Samsa, to the real empathy of Grete and the idealism of Mrs. Samsa, Kafka shows how a variety of responses is expected from society, and how people typically alter their viewpoints. Likewise to how public opinions impact his mom, Gregor is also encouraged through his respect for authority that he deserves the seclusion enforced on him by society. He believes those above him in the hierarchy to such a level that he ultimately reaches the conclusion that he would be much better off dead that to have his family suffering because of his presence.
Like his father, Gregor has a strong respect for authority and served in the military until his daddy, who is a reliable figure in his life, needed financial help so he ended up being “almost over night, a taking a trip salesman, who naturally had entirely different possibilities for generating income (…) which might be set out on the table at home in front of his astonished and delighted family” (43 ). Gregor’s decision to assist his family pay off their financial obligation without thinking about the result it would have on his own joy or considering declining shows how securely he is entrenched in the hierarchical system.
The belief that authoritative figures are always proper leads him to think that considering that society determines that he is worthless and deserves isolation, he would be better off dead than a concern to society. This is shown after Grete and Mr. Samsa choose that they want him gone, however Gregor’s “own idea that he had to disappear was, if possible, a lot more decisive than his siblings” (89 ). He overhears his family bemoaning their misery and since they are above him on the hierarchical structure, Gregor believes that he has to die in order to spare them the problem of having to handle him.
This illustrates how Kafka believes that society is so depending on a hierarchical structure and the guidance from authoritative figures that they can not think for themselves and even the person who is separated may still respect and follow those higher in the hierarchy. This is the last action in the transmission of an idea through a social hierarchy where everyone thinks that an individual is lesser and need to not exist, consisting of the pushed away individual themselves.
The Metamorphosis comes together to reveal the hierarchical pattern Kafka thinks a society follows in regard to seclusion and alienation. He uses the supervisor of the company Gregor works for to model the instigation of isolationism, which in society is identified by the crucial person in the hierarchy. Gregor’s family represents society as a whole and is utilized to illustrate the variety of responses individuals in society after they are informed who to push away.
These responses vary from immediate, unquestioning agreement with those greater in the hierarchy, to idealistically supporting the isolated individual, to sympathizing with and attempting to help the pushed away individual. He likewise utilizes Grete to demonstrate the vibrant state of human responses, by changing from considerate and caring to vicious and unsupportive by the end of the novella. Kafka continues this shaping of society from the hierarchical structure by triggering Gregor himself to concur with the reliable figures in his life and comply with the concept that he is worthless, hence imposing self-isolation. he interactions in between the characters in The Metamorphosis show how Kafka believes that the seclusion and alienation of a person in society is started by those at the top of the social hierarchy and works its method down through the hierarchy up until ultimately everyone in society has actually been influenced to accept the preliminary choice of one person. Functions Cited Kafka, Franz. The Transformation. Trans. Ian Johnstone. Nanaimo: Malaspina University-College, 1999.