The Metamorphosis

Freedom in Isolation

In The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka, and One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the authors use the motif of solitude and isolation to symbolize freedom. These qualities free Gregor Samsa and the town of Macondo, respectively, from external troubles.

In The Metamorphosis, the protagonist, Gregor Samsa, wakes up one morning transformed into an insect. Gregor must now deal with this transformation, as it will forever change his life. Though Gregor does not realize it at first, he has actually been enslaved by his family for some time. He has an unconditional sense of obligation for his family, as he works hard to pay off the family debt “with great earnestness”, and dreams of sending his sister, Grete, to learn to play the violin professionally. His devotion to his family reveals how thoughtful and compassionate he is. However, his family generally does not view him as a family member, but rather a source of income. Upon his transformation, the family is concerned with how it would affect their finances, rather than his well being. This is exemplified on the morning of Gregor’s transformation. It is the first day he has missed work in five years, and his family’s immediate concern is for his job. As Gregor is...

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