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February 5, 2013


Alienation is one of the major themes in The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. Today, there many cases of child labor due to poverty. In the novel, Gregor Samsa is responsible for supporting his family at an early age thus causing him to alienate his family. Gregor is also forced to sacrifice his love relationship where he could search for his soul mate and possibly father children to change his solitary life. “It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raining a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer” (Kafka and Jarvis 3). This shows Gregor’s desire for a romantic relationship that he is not able to pursue due to his over-needy family.

Gregor works hard to settle the debts of his father. “What a strenuous career it is that I’ve chosen! Travelling day in and day out” (Kafka and Jarvis 4). Gregor never picked out this alienating occupation (travelling salesman) but involuntary had to do it because his father had unsettled debts for his boss. In addition, Gregor’s boss also tracks his moves to the extent that he sends his assistant to search for Gregor when he does not show up for work.

Gregor was tired of taking care of his ungrateful family. Gregor thought the solution to predicament was to transform into a big insect; this would have separated him from his family, work, and society. A person feels alienated when the people close him/her give up on him/her. During Grete’s concert, Gregor learns that his family wishes him dead and decides to distance himself from them forever after his usefulness to every person comes to an end. “He watched as it slowly began to get light everywhere outside the window too. Then, without his willing it, his head sank down completely, and his last breath flowed weakly from his nostrils” (Kafka and Jarvis 78). Gregor dies without help only to be discovered by a janitor the following morning. In this case, Gregor alienates himself from his relatives and world.

The alienation that troubled Gregor is relatable to today’s society. The American society is experiencing high rates of divorce giving rise to more couples clashing over visitation rights and custody of their children. The children suffer psychologically and emotionally, especially if they face ongoing conflicts and divorce is contentious. This has led to parental alienation where a child expresses unreasonably strong dislike or unjustified hatred towards one of the parents. This is caused by influential emotional manipulation practices that bind the child towards one of the parents (Armitage).

Unlike other nations, the media in the US forcibly labels different aspirants and their constituents with inaccurate labels such as liberal and conservative. Occasionally, a number of media firms categorize a segment and politician as independent or moderate. However, this fails to adequately and accurately identify the political beliefs of the Americans who do not fit in the above classifications. This unwillingness of the media firms to address the political diversity in the US brings about the alienation of the politically active Americans. By choosing to respect and recognize the different political ideologies, this may change the political tide in the United States resulting in more open discussions about public policies which are currently censored by the news outles and established politicians (Cole).

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