Gregor had alienated himself long before his metamorphosis into a beetle. His obsession with his job had dehumanized him, made him less personal and more mechanical. While on business trips, he began to lock his doors at night in the hotels. He carried this action back to his homelife. His family did not know him anymore partially because they took him for granted for making their money for them and partially because that was simply how he wanted in to be. Gregor s metamorphosis into a beetle only allowed his family and himself to consciously alienate him from society and the world.
As someone said to meI can t remember who it was-it is really remarkable that when you wake up in the morning you nearly always find everything in exactly the same place as the night before. For when asleep and dreaming you are, apparently at least, in as essentially different state from that of wakefulness; and therefore, as that man truly said, it requires enormous, presence of mind or rather quickness of wit, when opening your eyes to seize hold as it were of everything in the room at exactly the same place where you had let it go on the previous evening. That was why, he said, the moment of waking up was the riskiest moment of the say. Once that was well over without deflecting you from your orbit, you could take heart of grace for the rest of your day.
Gregor woke up one morning to find himself turned from a human being to a beetle. People found that to be extremely hard to grasp. Many felt as though Gregor should have been more shocked at this change, or at least less understanding towards it. But really, why should he? The only part about being a beetle that seemed to truly negatively shock Gregor was that he could no longer attend to his job at the office. Gregor s family life did not change drastically. His loss of relation with his family was nothing very new, there was a lacking of personal connection with his parents for quite awhile before hand. His parents treated him as a form of hired help since he had taken the job to pay for his father s debts. Grete, Gregor s sister, seemed to be the only family member to change her perception of Gregor. She went from being the overemotional, little seventeen-year-old girl to a bitter, matured stranger the first in the Samsa household to declare that Gregor needed to be exterminated.
Gregor did not seemed shocked that his family wanted to kill him off either, almost as if he had been expecting it. He was only upset because he had scared his sister. It was as though Gregor had removed himself completely from his self, bordering on indifference. Self-alienation was the word commonly used to describe Gregor s state in the end. Although this self-alienation came strongest in the end of his life, it had been occurring from the moment Gregor accepted his life at the office. Alienation coming from his family had been occurring from the moment as well. Could anything have been done to stop either?
Pessimistically speaking, no. Gregor accepted the office thinking that it would later lead to a happier and more self-fulfilling future. Most people do this in everyday life. We do one thing after another, building stepping stones that we will rarely achieve only because we will never be satisfied with what we have in the end and force ourselves to keep going. This is the way of a vast portion of the world s population. Lack of satisfaction is what keeps us going. Should we ever achieve full satisfaction, we will have no purpose.