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The Metamorphosis

by Franz Kafka
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Examine the effects of alienation from self and society in The Metamorphosis.

In Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Gregor is alienated from himself and others, resulting in overwhelming feelings of discontent, loneliness, boredom, and depression.

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In Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa is alienated from himself as well as from society.

Gregor is a traveling salesman who spends almost all of his time working to pay off his parents' debt. He hates his job and wishes he could quit. He is sleep-deprived, overworked, and unhappy with his life.

Due to his all-consuming job, Gregor is alienated from himself and others. He does not have time for personal enjoyment. He is constantly working and therefore does not have time to pursue his own goals or enjoy hobbies. He is isolated from society because he is always traveling and cannot establish meaningful relationships with others. The relationships he does form are fleeting and superficial because he is always on the move and is never in one place long enough to truly connect with others. He cuts out a picture of a random woman from a magazine and puts it in a picture frame because he is not close to anyone in his life. His only consistent human contacts are his parents, sister, and boss—none of whom he is close with.

As a result of being alienated from himself and others, Gregor becomes depressed and lonely. He is bored and frustrated with the monotony of his job and life. He is tired of having no time for himself and barely enough time to sleep. He longs to form meaningful connections with people. He is akin to an automaton, mindlessly, joylessly, and robotically going through the motions of daily life.

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