First, read the information on the Ashford Writing Center’s web page, Thesis Statements (https://awc.ashford.edu/essay-dev-thesis-statements.html) . Then, read the ENG125 Sample Literary Analysis (attached) Pay close attention to the body paragraphs and thesis statements.Compare your working thesis statement to the thesis statement in the sample Literary Analysis. Does your thesis address relevant points like the example thesis? Then, look at a body paragraph in the sample Literary Analysis. Compare its construction to a body paragraph in your own paper.Post your working thesis and your strongest body paragraph into the discussion by Thursday (Day 3) at midnight; do not attach it as a separate document. For the purposes of this discussion only, signify your working thesis by including it in bold type and italicize the topic sentence of your body paragraph. Your body paragraph should include at least three examples of paraphrases and/or quotations (there should be at least one of each) with correct citations in APA format. After the body paragraph, be sure to include reference page citations for the paraphrased and cited sources. Then, answer the following three questions:Explain the connection between the topic sentence and your working thesis. Would this connection be clear to someone without your explanation? If so, why? If not, how can you modify your topic sentence and/or thesis statement to make this connection more clear?Explain the choice of reference material. How do the references support the topic sentence? Would this connection be clear to someone without your explanation? If so, why? If not, what information should you add to the paragraph to make this connection more clear?Does the paragraph contain any unnecessary information? Does everything in it work to support the topic sentence? What information could be added or removed? In essence, you are being asked to evaluate the cohesion of your paragraph.Note any other specific challenges faced or successes experienced when writing this paragraph or completing this discussion post.I will send you my essay once I pick you as my tutor. Also, 200 words or more for this discussion.1
Running head: SAMSA’S ALIENATION
Samsa’s Alienation in Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis
Sample Student
English 125: Introduction to Literature
Professor Smith
Month and date, year
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SAMSA’S ALIENATION
Samsa’s Alienation in Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis
One would normally think of the home and family as a sanctuary; however the opposite
is true for Gregor Samsa in Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Instead of receiving love from
his parents and sister, Gregor is outcast. His physical transformation into a vermin is a physical
manifestation of his already alienated state and demonstrates how the family viewed him as a
commodity instead of a son or brother that they loved. By analyzing Gregor’s room, his
relationships with others, and his own internal dialogue, one can see that Gregor, in fact, did not
transform at all.
Various aspects of the room in which Gregor lives illustrate that his life is not that of a
human engaging with the world. His room is described a “proper human room” (Kafka 1915).
The addition of the qualifier “human” is an example of verbal irony; Gregor has already
morphed into a creature at this point. The room is also “small” and mention is made of the “four
walls” (Kafka, 1915). Though many rooms are small and have four walls, the highlighting of this
fact by the narrator evokes a sense of enclosure or imprisonment.
The furnishings of the room (or lack thereof) support Gregor’s disengagement with
human connection. Nothing is related of photos of family or friends, and the room seems empty,
save for his bed and a few other items. We read that “textile samples lay spread out on the
table” (Kafka, 1915), thus informing us that Gregor, who works as a salesman, takes his work
home with him. The only picture Gregor does have in his room is one of a woman that he cut
out and framed (Kafka, 1915), thus suggesting he finds more interest in the image of a stranger
than with that of any person in his life. Save for some furniture, a table covered with work, and
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an image of a stranger on the wall, Gregor’s room is empty and resembles a prison cell more
than it does that of a human being connected with the world.
One more item in the room that supports Gregor’s involvement in his work and alienation
from the world is that of the alarm clock which serves as a metaphor for the control that his job
has in his life. Despite being transformed into a bug, Gregor is more worried about missing
work than he is about his physical state. Brooding about how he would like to quit his job after
paying about his parents’ debt while tossing and turning in bed, he says to himself, “First of all
though, I’ve got to get up, my train leaves at five” (Kafka, 1915). Then, an entire paragraph is
devoted to Gregor’s worrying about missing his train and wondering if he had slept through the
alarm; Gregor then wonders how he will deal with the repercussions with his boss, who would
certainly be angry with him for missing work. Gregor’s worries are supported when the chief
clerk does stop by the apartment wondering why he did not appear at work (Kafka, 1915).
Sokel (1983) notes that Gregor is further alienated from the products as his labor, as he does not
even enjoy the money he earns but gives it to his family. He explains, “Gregor’s sole reason for
enduring the hated position, the need to pay his parents’ ‘debt’ to his boss, drastically highlights
the doubly extrinsic purpose of Gregor’s work. For not only is his labor alien to his true desires,
but its…salary or commission that it affords him—does not even belong to him” (p. 487).
Gregor’s room and everything in it tell the story of his life: he sleeps, he works, and he has no
connection to other humans.
Gregor’s relationships with others also reveal his alienation and role as a commodity, not
a person. The interaction with the chief clerk at the office makes it clear the Gregor is valued
simply for his ability to make the company money. As already mentioned, the clerk at Gregor’s
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SAMSA’S ALIENATION
office soon came by the family apartment to check on Gregor’s whereabouts. The description of
the visit makes it clear that the clerk was not at the home to inquire about Gregor’s welfare but to
reprimand him for not being at work. When Gregor did not respond to the family’s questions
(because he was physically unable to do so), “[t]he chief clerk now raised his voice, ‘Mr.
Samsa,’…You barricade yourself in your room…you are causing serious and unnecessary
concern to your parents and… you fail to carry out your business duties in a way that is quite
unheard of” (Kafka, 1915). When Gregor does finally respond (in a way incomprehensible to
all), they assume he is mocking them instead of trying to explain his predicament (Kafka, 1915).
The clerk is quick to fire Gregor, thus suggesting that Gregor is a commodity that can be easily
replaced.
The chief clerk is not the only person who views Gregor as a commodity; Gregor’s own
family sees him as a means to their own end and as something that is useless when it is no longer
able to make money. Early in the novella, Gregor thinks about the fact that Gregor was working
to pay off his parents’ debt, and would need to work “another five or six years” to do so (Kafka,
1915). One would think that in such a situation that the rest of the family was incapable of
working, but this is not true, as the family soon finds other means of income upon Gregor’s
inability to work.
Perhaps the most telling scene of the family’s view of Gregor occurs at the very end of
section I when Gregor rushes out of his room in an effort to reach out to the clerk and save his
job. Though one might understand confusion on their part, Gregor’s family, in particular his
father, shun him and react violently. Upon seeing Gregor, his father “seized the chief clerk’s
stick in his right hand…, picked up a large newspaper from the table with his left, and used them
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SAMSA’S ALIENATION
to drive Gregor back into his room, stamping his foot at him as he went” (Kafka, 1915). The
father then started “making hissing noises at [Gregor] like a wild man” (Kafka, 1915). Clearly,
Gregor’s father sees Gregor not as a son but as an enemy; this is ultimately supported when he
shoves Gregor into his room, injuring him. After the scene calms, “For two whole days, all the
talk at every mealtime was about what they should do now” (Kafka, 1915), leading the family to
believe such talk was about how they would provide for themselves, not how they would care for
Gregor. There is no care or concern demonstrated to Gregor by his father or anyone, for that
matter; rather, his father exemplifies the fact that the family only cared about Gregor when he
was useful to them; now that he is not of use, he is simply a burden. Ryan (2007) makes note of
additional significance of Gregor’s role that is lost in translation. He explains that a term used to
refer to Gregor in the story’s original German was “Ungeziefer,” a word that has a history of
connotations varying from “unclean animal,” to “louse,” to “cockroach” and other such
undesirable creatures (p. 11). Regardless of the translation, it is clear that Gregor is simply not
wanted.
Sadly, Gregor’s own internal dialogue parallel how his family talks to and about him. In
fact, one might say that he has internalized the voices of his family and the clerk. One example
of this includes his reaction upon realizing he was an insect. As mentioned earlier, Gregor was
not concerned about finding a way to get his human body back; rather, he was concerned about
whether or not he was late to work. Even after the clerk’s visit, Gregor is keen on finding a way
to get to work: “If, however, they took everything calmly he would still have no reason to be
upset, and if he hurried he really could be at the station for eight o’clock” (Kafka, 1915). Gregor
plans for the family’s future even though they do not; in fact, they take for granted that they will
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be provided for and “had so much to worry about at present that they had lost sight of any
thought for the future. Gregor, though, did think about the future” (Kafka 1915). Though one
might first think it is good of Gregor to work so hard for his family, Gregor has completely lost
his own identity in doing so. He simply sees himself as a means to their welfare, just as they do.
Ironically, it is after Gregor morphs into an insect (or “un-thing,” as would be a closer
translation of the novella’s German title), that Gregor begins to demonstrate more human
qualities. One early example of this occurs near the end of the first section as the chief clerk is
about to leave. After rushing out of his room in an effort to appease the clerk, Gregor sees his
mother look at him and briefly forgets about the one thing that had previously consumed his
entire life: “’Mother, Mother,’ said Gregor gently, looking up at her. He had completely
forgotten the chief clerk for the moment…” (Kafka, 1915). As the story progresses, we read less
and less of Gregor worrying about his job and more about him thinking of his own emotions.
Reflecting upon his sister’s efforts to leave him food, Gregor wishes he were able to share his
gratitude with her. The narrator laments, “If Gregor had only been able to speak to his sister and
thank her for all that she had to do for him it would have been easier for him to bear it; but as it
was it caused him pain” (Kafka, 1915). This Gregor is quite different from the work-obsessed
Gregor at the beginning of the story. Gregor even shows thoughtfulness for his parents, even
though they do not demonstrate care for him as his sister does: “Out of consideration for his
parents, Gregor wanted to avoid being seen at the window during the day” (Kafka, 1915). These
are not the thoughts of an unfeeling, monstrous vermin but those of a caring, considerate brother
and son.
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SAMSA’S ALIENATION
Gregor’s change from a travelling salesman to an insect in Kafka’s The Metamorphosis
was not truly a change at all; in fact, by studying his room, his relationships and this thinking, it
becomes clear that Gregor did not change at all. The true metamorphosis happens after Gregor’s
physical transformation. Turning into a bug, unable to work, made Gregor realize what was
most important in his life: not his job, but his human relationships. Sadly, his family is not able
to reciprocate his feelings of love and concern. At the close of The Metamorphosis, it is not
Gregor, but his family who have morphed into unfeeling creatures, while Gregor is the most
human of them all.
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SAMSA’S ALIENATION
References
Kafka, F. (1915). The Metamorphosis (D. Wyllie, Trans.). Retrieved from Project Gutenberg:
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/5200/5200-h/5200-h.htm
Ryan, S. (2007) Franz Kafka’s Die Verwandlung: Transformation, Metaphor, and the Perils of
Assimilation. Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies, 43(1), 1-18.
Sokel, W.H. (1983). From Marx to Myth: The Structure and Function of Self-Alienation in
Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Literary Review, 26(4), 485-496.

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