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The theme of isolation in Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis’

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The most peculiar element of the story.
  3. Martin Greenberg's essay 'Gregor Samsa and Modern Spirituality'.
    1. Greenberg's analysis.
    2. A clearer explanation of the nature of Gregor's 'hunger'.
    3. The spiritual struggle in Gregor's inner self.
    4. Gregor's death: spiritually inconclusive.
  4. Who or what is the source of Gregor's 'nourishment'?
  5. Conclusion.

Franz Kafka's novella The Metamorphosis concerns a traveling salesmen named Gregor Samsa who ?[awakens] from unsettling dreams one morning? and ?[finds] himself transformed into a monstrous vermin? (Kafka 7). Gregor is late for work, and he gripes about his joyless job; he declares ?if I were not holding back because of my parents, I would have quit long ago? (8). His family tries to awaken him so he may yet be on time. A clerk from his job arrives to check on him, driving Gregor to open his door and reveal his transformed state. All are repulsed, and the clerk flees the house in horror. Gregor understands his family perfectly, but his family cannot comprehend his speech and do not realize he understands what they say. Gregor's sister Grete is the most sympathetic, cleaning his room and offering him food. His mother falls ill with anguish and his father exhibits violent outbursts, wounding Gregor beyond recuperation with a thrown apple. Gregor confines himself to his room, decaying.

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