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People will value us because there is some good they will always derive from us. Once that good exhausts, people will stop valuing us. We become worthless to such people when our value exhausts.
The novel “Metamorphosis” uses imaginative concepts to highlight some uncomfortable truths about the real world. The author narrates the story of Gregor Samsa who works hard to earn a living for his family. His family values him till the time he brings income to the family. One day, he turns into a bug and his family starts to resent him.
This implies how people’s attitudes change through the course of time and therefore displays a very materialistic perspective of the world we live in. I believe that Gregor Samsa is each one of us who is unaware of an existence that is constantly going through a change.
The author has emphasized on an alienating experience of life through this novel. I believe that in a way, all of us are alienated.
We feel alienated as if we do not belong to the place where we already are. We often feel that no matter how much everyone tries, no one can understand us. We have different fears, insecurities, goals and ambitions. However, we are somewhat condemned by human conditions to live this way in a world full of absurdities that leave us in the fear and anxiety about our loneliness. Hence, the metaphor of the bug shows how we sometimes feel alienated towards ourselves.
There are times when are unspoken thoughts cannot be expressed.
A person will feel unhappy and alienated from his environment and people when he cannot satisfy his soul. For instance, a person carries out his daily chores but is not satisfied with his job and still has to work hard on the same job because he was forced into this profession by his father. Parents do not realize that every child has his own capabilities and dreams. Forcing your ambitions on the delicate shoulders of your children is worse than child labour I believe. What if the child cannot bear the load? The aftermath will be alienation from one’s own desires. Moreover, old parents often feel alienated when their children ignore them in the hustle and bustle of life because they are of no benefit to their children. People feel alienated because they seek love and comfort from others. I believe that loneliness becomes less lonely if it is shared with someone else. We should not let our loved ones reach a stage where they feel lonely or alienated.
The author highlights the concept that the one with power always suppresses the weak, exactly how Gregor’s father supresses him. I believe this is true in the real world as well. Say for instance, in today’s capitalist society, the working class is exploited at the hands of the ruling class who have authority due to possession of wealth. Similarly, women are oppressed by men in a male dominant society because men are physically stronger than women. Men treat women like animals in these areas which steals their humanity! The novel entails a disturbing perspective of human nature. It indicates the kind of sickness in our society where virtue is not repaid with virtue, and where the people who love us, work for us, suffer for us, die unloved and untended.
On the other hand, the end of this story disappointed me. I did not expect the story to end this way if we take this scenario to a real world perspective. According to the author, Gregor’s death is seen by his family as a much awaited event. They seem to ignore his death completely and prosper in their lives. It seemed as if they were waiting for Gregor to die to move ahead in life.
However, this would not have happened if we relate this story to real life. Let us take an example of a trans person. If a trans person is treated like Gregor in his family due to an inability such that he does not meet the criteria of surviving in a society, he will definitely feel alienated and chances are that he might face serious anxiety and depression. But, if he dies such a miserable death like Gregor, the reaction of his family will not be like that of Gregor’s family. We often take for granted the people in our lives who deserve our gratitude the most! Hence after this person’s demise, the family will naturally feel guilty of their treatment towards their child. They might realize that just because they were not capable enough to challenge societal norms and concepts they could never accept their child. People often realize a person’s true value once they are far gone. Therefore, we should start to appreciate what we already ‘have’ before it becomes what we ‘had’. I certainly believe that happiness will never come to people who fail to appreciate what they already have in life.
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