The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis

Alternate cover edition of ISBN 0553213695 / 9780553213690"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was laying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his domelike brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt co...

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Title:The Metamorphosis
Author:Franz Kafka
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Metamorphosis Reviews

  • Nicole

    Gregor waking up one morning as a bug was a hilarious analogy of the effects an illness can have on someone, as well as on those who are close to him. Though the underlying story behind the hilarity of the analogy was anything but funny. I took it as more of a warning of what NOT to do when a loved-one is afflicted by some unfortunate disease or circumstance. I found his resistance of acknowledging to himself that he had become a bug in the beginning of the story to be very interesting. When he

    Gregor waking up one morning as a bug was a hilarious analogy of the effects an illness can have on someone, as well as on those who are close to him. Though the underlying story behind the hilarity of the analogy was anything but funny. I took it as more of a warning of what NOT to do when a loved-one is afflicted by some unfortunate disease or circumstance. I found his resistance of acknowledging to himself that he had become a bug in the beginning of the story to be very interesting. When he couldn't ignore his state any longer, he looked to others' reactions as to how he would look at his own condition. As he was trying to unlock his bedroom door to let his parents and supervisor in, he thought,

    "If they took fright, then Gregor would have no further responsibility and could rest in peace. But if they took it all calmly, then he had no reason to get excited either and he could, if he hurried, actually be at the station by eight."

    The reaction of those around him, and most importantly, those of his closest loved-ones, is what influenced his own attitude towards himself and his own state. He became completely ashamed of himself, striving to completely hide himself from view, though it took great effort and pain on his part to do so. His imprisonment, or rather, his confinement from the company of others, had a devastating affect upon his mental well-being and in turn, affected his physical well-being. Such a sad story and the fact that his family didn't feel remorse for their actions, but relief for themselves at his death... I don't believe Kafka was trying to say this is how humans are indubitably, even though most of them try to put on a show of galantry and higher morals. But that humans certainly can become some of the most self-serving, self-centered creatures on Earth. It serves as a warning to us all that while it is good to allow others to serve us from time to time, it is far better to always serve others. Gregor's family had all become accustomed to being taken care of by him. They didn't even mind that he was held in servitude to pay off their debts. This was made evident when the fact was made known that Gregor's father had been saving up extra money earned by Gregor, when it could have been used to pay for his freedom much sooner. Gregor, on the other hand, had been serving his family and loved them purely because of it. His first thought was not of himself, but of the hardship his condition would cause his family.

    So lest we fall into such an ugly state of existence, let us guard ourselves by serving those we love, thus loving more those we serve.

  • Gaurav

    The Metamorphosis can quite easily be one of Franz Kafka’s best works of literature- one of the best in Existentialist literature. The author shows the struggle of human existence- the problem of living in modern society- through the narrator.

    Gregor Samsa wakes in his bed and discovers he has transformed into a some kind of a giant bug; he struggles to find what actually has happened to him, he looks around his small room and everything looks normal to him however it

    The Metamorphosis can quite easily be one of Franz Kafka’s best works of literature- one of the best in Existentialist literature. The author shows the struggle of human existence- the problem of living in modern society- through the narrator.

    Gregor Samsa wakes in his bed and discovers he has transformed into a some kind of a giant bug; he struggles to find what actually has happened to him, he looks around his small room and everything looks normal to him however it gets a weird feeling it may not be so. He tries to roll over and go back to sleep in order to forget about what has happened, but because of the shape of his back, he can only rock from side to side.

    The opening line of the novella recounts the bizarre event of Gregor’s transformation in a quite straightforward manner, the author used the contrasting picture of an unusual situation and ordinary things of life to create an absurd world which is chilly, chaotic rather than ordered and rational.

    Gregor gets used to his insect body and his family feeds him (mainly the wrong things, but they don't care) and removes furniture from his room so that he can freely move around and climb the walls. But they don't want to see his ugly form, he is confined to his room, and usually hides under the sofa when his sister enters with his food, to spare her sensibilities (in contrast to the sweetly human insect Gregor, his sister is not considerate at all, but increasingly antagonistic and cruel); his brutish father chases him back by throwing apples at him when he once comes out. The family members also have to take jobs for they can no longer sponge off the successful son. And the situation breaks down, and the family disintegrates.

    The problem of alienation is explored to depth in the novella- Gregor become insect and behaviour of his family members change towards him, he may transformed to something unusual at the core he is still the same however he faces problem of acceptance by society due to his transformed appearance.

    Gregor Samsa can make us think more deeply about our own identity, about the fluidity of what we take to be stable and fixed, and about the perils and miracles of our own metamorphoses. Kafka shows us that how the values of conventional society are warped due to our inability to look beyond the surface to the human being inside.

  • Best Eggs

    A paraphrase. When my ex-husband went out one evening from unsettling dreams of how faraway his wife was, he went out drinking and whoring. Next morning he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin. A cockroach. Much he knew it though. None of his friends recognised it, in fact they preferred the cockroach to the person he had been and he had a great time. When it was time for him to come home, armour-plated as he was he crushed his wife underfoot (well fists and kicks, but same t

    A paraphrase. When my ex-husband went out one evening from unsettling dreams of how faraway his wife was, he went out drinking and whoring. Next morning he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin. A cockroach. Much he knew it though. None of his friends recognised it, in fact they preferred the cockroach to the person he had been and he had a great time. When it was time for him to come home, armour-plated as he was he crushed his wife underfoot (well fists and kicks, but same thing).

    Unlike Kafka's poor cockroach whom no one could come to terms with and is destroyed by their ultimate hatred of creepy, crawly insects that roam the house, my ex was embraced by all and became the most popular party person. Although at one stage I did have to fight off a woman who was swinging her handbag at me and tell a Spanish prostitute that my husband's unwanted attentions were no business of mine.

    The moral of the story is that there is more than one type of human cockroach and Kafka only wrote about one. It's all in the shell, if you are ugly, big, brown and with six legs you are hated. But handsome, big brown and with only two, you are adored.

    Read this book back in 1999 and loved it. Social isolation for visible or invisible characterists reverberated with me, as did the cold gang mentality that rules once each has identified itself as a sympathetic member.

    5 star book

    2 star ex husband (I did get my son so he gets a star for that).

  • Glenn Russell

    Kafka’s classic tale written in 1912 is about the changes that can come about in our lives. Up until the very end, the entire tale takes place in an apartment of a mother, father, son and daughter. The son is unfortunately unable to continue to perform his job as a traveling salesman and support his family financially. This abrupt change forces the father, mother and daughter to exert more energy in their lives and take steps to earn money. Here is a word about each member of the family:

    The Fath

    Kafka’s classic tale written in 1912 is about the changes that can come about in our lives. Up until the very end, the entire tale takes place in an apartment of a mother, father, son and daughter. The son is unfortunately unable to continue to perform his job as a traveling salesman and support his family financially. This abrupt change forces the father, mother and daughter to exert more energy in their lives and take steps to earn money. Here is a word about each member of the family:

    The Father – At the beginning of the tale he is too worn out to even stand up straight and walk across the apartment without pausing. At the end, he stands up straight, combs his white hair neatly, wears a uniform smartly in his new job working for a bank and can take charge of family situations and challenges with authority.

    The Mother – At the outset, she is weak and helpless. At the end, she does the household cooking and helps support her family through taking in sewing.

    The Daughter – A wan stay-at-home at the beginning and a healthy out-in-the-world worker at the end. At the very end, this 17 year-old blossoms into an attractive young lady, a real catch for some lucky guy.

    This Kafka tale is, in some important ways, the forerunner of such books as ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Of course, what I've written above is tongue-in-cheek; not to be taken seriously!

    Review of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka ---- Take 2

    If I didn’t write this ‘Take 2’ I suspect my book review would be the first in nearly 100 years not to mention Gregor wakes up transformed into an enormous bug. Since there already so many reviews posted, I’d like to offer several brief observations:

    • What is it about our attempt to maintain the status quo? Gregor is transformed into a monstrous verminous bug and all he and his mother and father and sister can ask is: ‘How can we change things back to how they were?’.

    • The objective 3rd person narrator lets us know directly that although Gregor’s body has transformed, he still has his human mind with its memories. Why does his family assume Gregor lost his human mind? If they wanted, they could simply ask him questions to find out. For example, ‘Gregor, if you can understand what I am saying, move over to the right side of your room’. This speaks volumes about how people are too narrow in their thinking to deal with life creatively and with imagination.

    • What adds to the eeriness of Kafka tale is Gregor’s metamorphosis is in stark contrast to the humdrum regularity of the family in their apartment. The possible exception is the absurdist scene at the beginning where Gregor’s manager knocks on the door and insists on knowing why Gregor missed the early morning train. This combination of these opposites is a stroke of genius.

    • The most insightful review of this Kafka tale I’ve read is from Vladimir Nabokov ------

    . Nabokov adjudged Kafka’s tale the greatest novel of the 20th century behind Joyce’s Ulysses.

  • Adina

    4* for the novella + 1* for Benedict Cumberbatch narration ( I adore his voice).

    A family (mother, father and sister) are forced to become responsible and find jobs when the son, the sole provider of the family, has a sort of a disease and cannot work anymore. As he becomes useless he is marginalized and despised. I almost forgot, the disease is that the son wakes up in the morning as a cockroach.

    Methamorphosis is considered one of the best books ever written which is quite remarkable consideri

    4* for the novella + 1* for Benedict Cumberbatch narration ( I adore his voice).

    A family (mother, father and sister) are forced to become responsible and find jobs when the son, the sole provider of the family, has a sort of a disease and cannot work anymore. As he becomes useless he is marginalized and despised. I almost forgot, the disease is that the son wakes up in the morning as a cockroach.

    Methamorphosis is considered one of the best books ever written which is quite remarkable considering its size. To succeed to have such an impact in a few pages is an accomplishment. At a first glance it is the story of Gregor Samsa, who wakes up transformed as a vermin and becomes treated like one by the family. As with great literature, and with Kafka in particular, there is more than meets the eye.

    Some of the themes that come to my mind (and some that I read in other reviews) are:

    - What happens when a person is no longer sociable acceptable and it becomes marginalized

    - The novel can be seen as a critic of discrimination or

    - Kafka’s own existential suffering and his alienation from the world ( I think some reading about Kafka’s life is needed to better understand his work).

    - A fable of Jews’ condition

    For a better and more in depth analysis of the novella please check Vladimir Nabokov’s contribution:

  • JV (semi-hiatus)

    My ever dearest Kafka,

    It has come to my attention that you've left a manuscript behind pertaining to the extermination of vermins. So my eccentric little self decided to pick up a copy of yours hoping to annihilate pests of the worst, possibly, the most malicious kind, only to find out you didn't offer such trick. Well, woe is me! There goes me gay self screaming and running away from flying roaches! Ackkkk! Shoooo! Oh bollocks, you could've helped! Interestingly, what I discovered was a lustrou

    My ever dearest Kafka,

    It has come to my attention that you've left a manuscript behind pertaining to the extermination of vermins. So my eccentric little self decided to pick up a copy of yours hoping to annihilate pests of the worst, possibly, the most malicious kind, only to find out you didn't offer such trick. Well, woe is me! There goes me gay self screaming and running away from flying roaches! Ackkkk! Shoooo! Oh bollocks, you could've helped! Interestingly, what I discovered was a lustrous gem of sorts — a brilliant speculative fiction that neither offers answers nor questions as to why something is happening, only that it is really occurring!

    While I thought to turn Gregor Samsa into a monstrous insect was quite preposterous, it seems that in the end, it was the most logical choice, or so I thought! If Alice was to trot along with me and find this surreal handbook with absurdist humour, I wager that she'll say the same thing when she was in Wonderland a long time ago, "Curiouser and curiouser!" Indeed, it was baffling and sufficient to bedazzle your foes! Give this as a gift, let them read and interpret it, and wish upon a bloody star that one day your enemies will metamorphose into a despicable vermin that you can whack or swat with tremendous gusto, that is, depending on their particular form.

    Being turned into a monstrous insect is no mean feat especially if you're a travelling salesman and a breadwinner with a family to support — an asthmatic mother, a workshy father, and a clueless sister. Unfortunately, poor Gregor took that frightful curse of being turned into a vermin of sorts. Once a human who was socially acceptable, now he's but a social pariah — alienated, ostracised, and discriminated.

    I wonder though what you've really meant by this novella of yours. Was this a philosophical commentary or an allegory about the human condition, human nature, or our precarious existence? Was this a mirror that reflects how we treat others who are entirely different? Was this your way to expose the masks that we've held long enough just to uncover our true essence as human beings? Was this your life story? Were you trying to unveil the nefarious ways how humans can be so corrupt to their core that they forgot how to care, see each other through by loving one another and showing kindness in so many ways? That I wouldn't know for you are not here. All you've left is but a manuscript that will leave us feeling discombobulated for many years to come! How disappointing!

    Anyways, your version of vermins is already obsolete, my friend. Ever since you've left this world, vermins in the form of some reprehensible humans have survived! Yes, we do have that in our lives, unfortunately, which reminds me that I might need to further transmogrify them into roaches and whack, smoosh, squish-squash those little scuttling critters out of existence by wielding my handy-dandy, ever-reliable broomstick! Not all vermins are worth the empathy, mind you! Only your story does. Wish me luck though! This one will feel like a game of Whack-a-Mole with me squealing while chasing those pests away from my life!

    Your fan and friend,

    JV

    Narrative voice & style - ★★★★★

    Vocal characterisation - ★★★★★

    Inflexion & intonation - ★★★★★

    Voice quality - ★★★★★

    - ★★★★★ (Exquisite performance, superbly brilliant, a must-have!)

  • Rebecca

    I once used my copy to kill a beetle.

    Thereby combining my two passions: irony and slaughter.

    *wields*

  • Dan Schwent

    Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning to discover he's been transformed into a giant beetle-like creature. Can he and his family adjust to his new form?

    The Metamorphosis is one of those books that a lot of people get dragooned into reading during high school and therefore are predisposed to loath. I managed to escape this fate and I'm glad. The Metamorphosis is quite a strange little book.

    Translated from German, The Metamorphosis is the story of how Gregor Samsa's transformation tears his family apa

    Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning to discover he's been transformed into a giant beetle-like creature. Can he and his family adjust to his new form?

    The Metamorphosis is one of those books that a lot of people get dragooned into reading during high school and therefore are predisposed to loath. I managed to escape this fate and I'm glad. The Metamorphosis is quite a strange little book.

    Translated from German, The Metamorphosis is the story of how Gregor Samsa's transformation tears his family apart. I feel like there are hidden meanings that are just beyond my grasp. I suspect it's a commentary about how capitalism devours its workers when they're unable to work or possibly about how the people who deviate from the norm are isolated. However, I mostly notice how Samsa's a big frickin' beetle and his family pretends he doesn't exist.

    There's some absurdist humor at the beginning. Samsa's first thoughts upon finding out he's a beetle is how he's going to miss work. Now, I'm as dedicated to my job as most people but if I woke up to find myself a giant beetle, I don't think I'd have to mull over the decision to take a personal day or two.

    Aside from that, the main thing that sticks out is what a bunch of bastards Samsa's family is. He's been supporting all of them for years in his soul-crushing traveling salesman job and now they're pissed that they have to carry the workload. Poor things. It's not like Gregor's sitting on the couch drinking beer while they're working. He's a giant damn beetle! Cut him some slack.

    All kidding aside, the ending is pretty sad. I'll bet Mr. Samsa felt like a prick later. The Metamorphosis gets four stars, primarily for being so strange and also because it's the ancestor of many weird or bizarro tales that came afterwords. It's definitely worth an hour or two of your time.

  • Henry Avila

    Gregor Samsa awakes from a bad dream, into a mad nightmare, as he struggles, stuck in his own bed this weary, young traveling salesman, has overnight been miraculously transformed... incredibly Gregor is now a hideous bug, a dung beetle , or even a cockroach does it really matter what ? He has missed his train in more ways than one, but Samsa, is a real trooper, still thinks he can catch the locomotive and make that vile business trip, eventually getting off the bed with great difficulty, just a

    Gregor Samsa awakes from a bad dream, into a mad nightmare, as he struggles, stuck in his own bed this weary, young traveling salesman, has overnight been miraculously transformed... incredibly Gregor is now a hideous bug, a dung beetle , or even a cockroach does it really matter what ? He has missed his train in more ways than one, but Samsa, is a real trooper, still thinks he can catch the locomotive and make that vile business trip, eventually getting off the bed with great difficulty, just a slight crash, in truth, opening the locked door somehow and moving around on the floor, in his many, new, ugly little legs the parents and sister are greatly shocked, at his new repulsive appearance. And when the office manager arrives to see what happened , big mistake, he spots Samsa and is out the door without a word spoken (twitching a little). Now the "Bug" becomes a burden to his lazy, ungrateful family after years of Gregor supporting them, all by himself (a job he hated, with a big passion), they much embarrassed , hide him in his modest quiet room, feeding the "monstrous vermin", leftover garbage from their table scraps, a menu the bug implausibly prefers...Months pass and it becomes obvious something has to give, the reader will decide is Samsa a real dung beetle, or is he mentally ill? But to some, the gist of the fable is, how much does your family love you? A brutal depiction of a family in tremendous turmoil...expediency triumphs.

  • Miranda Reads

    I read books for fun, not to better myself.

    I originally published this review

    ago, for a book published

    ago... and I just want to say:

    .

    People are not the forgiving sort if you don't like this book. It seems that some classics must be liked,

    .

    Since publishing this review, many people have posted their interpretations of this book - some of which I can see, some of which I don't buy and some that really are quite brilliant.

    Peop

    I read books for fun, not to better myself.

    I originally published this review

    ago, for a book published

    ago... and I just want to say:

    .

    People are not the forgiving sort if you don't like this book. It seems that some classics must be liked,

    .

    Since publishing this review, many people have posted their interpretations of this book - some of which I can see, some of which I don't buy and some that really are quite brilliant.

    People seem convinced that if only I (the "stupid broad" as one now-deleted comment said) could

    , then my "absolute idiocy" could be resolved and I wouldn't have to worry about my children "inheriting the stupid."

    While your sentiments about my future children were strong (and no doubt your hearts were in the right place), I'm afraid that won't help them.

    Even if the most stunningly accurate interpretation of the novel comes into my life, that doesn't change the fact that

    I'm not a professional.

    I'm not an English teacher.

    I have never claimed to be anything other than an avid reader.

    Just because I'm a "casual" doesn't mean that I'm only going to stick to fluffy novels. I like to branch out, sometimes with awesome and sometimes with awful results.

    And this one just didn't work for me.

    And if there's anything I have picked up from the comments, Kafka was writing a book

    He was going for that indescribable horror of something just out of reach. And...I felt that... and to me, reading that was not enjoyable.

    And my review reflects exactly what Kafka was aiming for (with a dollop of sarcasm and sass from me on the side).

    If you are someone who is looking for a

    kindly check out another. There plenty of brilliant interpretations of this novel, and so many people LOVE it.

    Unfortunately, I did not.

    Allow me to explain it to you then:

    You (Gregor) turned into

    Your family alternated between

    you in your bug-body.

    Ultimately, you began doing lots of creepy bug-things and became a burden to them.

    Then you

    and your parents got their spare bedroom back.

    Okaaaay, if you haven't already guessed,

    I am not a fan of books where things just *happen* without any sort of explanation. Nor if books that give off a consistently dreary feeling throughout.

    I could summarize the entire book as:

    Which is slightly misrepresenting the book - cause the book actually has Gregor turning into a bug without any rhyme or reason.

    This is probably one of those books where everything is a representation of something significant in real life.

    An "Important Novel", if you will.

    Lemme Wikipedia this.

    ...

    .....

    ........

    Ok. I'm back.

    Apparently the bug thing is either a metaphor for a "father complex" (Gregor's dad was the most anti-Gregor/anti-bug character) or a take on the "artist struggle" (Gregor's sister is the cruelest, because she can make music).

    I guess that could be what the book means...? There's a cruel father and a gifted daughter...but who knows.

    I guess the book is so open to interpretation that it could literally mean just about anything.

    It kind of feels like one of those books just

    and then some English teachers got a hold of it and now it's become an

    Therefore, I'm going to stick with my original interpretation - it's

    Personally, I did not like the style, the characters and the ending.

    It felt painful to read. The actual text was good, but the emotions and the feelings associated with the events just felt incredibly depressing.

    Plus,

    - plenty of things happen without a solid explanation or clear motivation... which actually funnels back into my "English teachers got ahold of this novel" theory quite well.

    Ultimately, this took up time that I can never get back and I don't think I'll ever enjoy it.

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