Can someone please explain this quote from "The Metamorphosis" and what it has to do with alienation?"Likewise the ash can and the garbage can from the kitchen. Whatever was not being used at the...

Can someone please explain this quote from "The Metamorphosis" and what it has to do with alienation?

"Likewise the ash can and the garbage can from the kitchen. Whatever was not being used at the moment was just flung into Gregor's room by the cleaning woman."

Asked on by kblaton

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There is tremendous importance in this quote and the way that it describes how the room where Gregor dwelled became used by the family as time passed and as they took in lodgers. Note the full quote that is given in my translation of this classic work:

For this reason, many of the family's belongings had become superfluous; but while they had not prospects of selling them, they did not want to throw them out either. All these items wound up in Gregor's room--as did the ash bucket and the garbage can from the kitchen. If anything was unusable at the moment, the charwoman, who was always in a mad rush, would simpley toss it into Gregor's room...

Clearly, Gregor's room, and therefore Gregor, is associated with objects that the family now no longer need and are "superfluous." As time goes by, Gregor is more and more alienated by the attitude of his family as he becomes unnecessary to their lives and forgotten by them. That these forgotten, unnecessary items are thrust into Gregor's room along with the garbage is a strong indication of how Gregor is being treated. He is now nothing more than a piece of detritus to the family, like an extra bit of furniture that has no purpose or function and is thrust into a room and forgotten about.

ittybitty5454's profile pic

ittybitty5454 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

This Quote has alot to do with alienation. Alienation is being isolated from others. However, the garbage symbolizes Gregor because when you have an lovely object that you value you hold on to it. But, if you have an object that is out of use and you dont need it any more you throw it away in the trash. In the same way, Gregor became useless and unimportant to his family so he feels alienated.  

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