Sep 15 2009

The Metamorphosis

GregorIn my attempt to read through as many classics as possible before the urge abandons me, today I devoured the 1915 novella by Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis.  Despite the book’s title, the story actually starts immediately following the unfortunate Gregor’s hideous transformation (see below). The story revolves around Gregor coming to terms with his new body and the effects this has on his life, work, and family.

One of things I liked most about The Metamorphosis was the fact that the author never felt the need to explain how the change happened. Not only does the author seem completely unconcerned with the cause of this fantastic event, but Gregor’s family seem to accept their loved one’s misfortune as awful, tragic, but not particularly out-of-the-ordinary. It’s almost as if Grete had given birth to a severely retarded son, and moved by compassion and stigma, decided to shelter him away from prying eyes. I found this acceptance of the bizarre even more evocative than the metamorphosis itself.

“One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.”

4.5 out of 5