The Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung, also sometimes translated as The Transformation) is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It has been cited as one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century and is studied in colleges and universities across the Western world. The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed (metamorphosed) into a large, monstrous insect-like creature. The cause of Samsa's transformation is never revealed, and Kafka never did give an explanation. The rest of Kafka's novella deals with Gregor's attempts to adjust to his new condition as he deals with being burdensome to his parents and sister, who are repulsed by the horrible, verminous creature Gregor has become.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This seminal 1915 novella opens with a bizarre, dreamlike event: a man wakes to find himself transformed into a creature resembling a giant cockroach. Previously, Gregor was a travelling salesman, working to support his parents and young sister. Now, he’s physically incapacitated, unable to communicate and confined to his room. We were transfixed by Gregor’s struggles with his grotesque new form and his family’s responses—part sympathy, part revulsion. Metamorphosis is a thought-provoking fable about the effects of illness on relationships and the way lives can fall apart in an instant.
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Makes you think of the deeper meanings in life
“The little legs had firm ground beneath them, he was delighted to note that they were completely under his command, they strained to carry him off wherever he might desire, and he finally believed that the final alleviation of all his grief was imminent.”. This quote from Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis encapsulates the salesman protagonist’s sorrow. Desperate to go about his life after transforming into an enormous insect and the alienation he feels doomed to suffer, Gregor copes with his bizarre situation and watches his family become increasingly miserable. But changes in the family he loved, along with the feeling of loneliness prowl his existence. Written as a meditation on isolation, the book depicts the feeling of worthlessness and being unwanted in a disturbing and strange way, with lurid descriptions, ridiculous plot, and absurd characters. Readers delight in the portraits of depression and resentment that has sparked much conversation and ideas. While the story can be tough to get through at times and not particularly well written, the questions about identity and humanity leave you thinking and it’s up to the reader if they’re willing to dig in to the end of this story.
A Mix of Emotions
Some humorous moments overwhelmed by the confusion and sadness of the course of the story. I finished it in about an hour, great for a quick read.