This is one of my favourite works of Kafka that had really affected me when I had read it a few years ago. Since then, I have reread it several times, just completed a painting inspired by it, and now rewriting the review as I now see it in a different light. Of course the story itself is surrealistic, impinging on a dream but is too long, clear and detailed to actually be a dream.
Gregor Sama awakens one day and finds himself transformed into a beetle/ cockroach. His father’s debt had burdened him with responsibilities and had shackled him to a miserable existence as a travelling salesman. His family members were actually akin to vermins, living extravagant lives, feeding off Gregor and hence I feel that Gregor had actually transformed to become one with his family. Ironically the family is repulsed by his appearance and as they have to work and also part with their extravagances-large house, servant etc, they admonish him and finally, like Kafka’s Judgment, pronounce the sentence that he should be gotten rid of and ideally should have left himself. As in Judgment, the family’s judgment causes Gregor’s demise.
The family doesn’t feel a pang of guilt on causing his death and quickly move on and the story culminates with the parents focussing on his sister Grete and her marriage prospects.
This story clearly portrays Kafka’s central themes: family- son conflict and complete disparagement of humanity. Clearly a masterpiece!!
- Book Review: The Metamorphosis (ellayneshaw.com)
- Franz Kafa – The Metamorphosis (calebcampbell1english2230.wordpress.com)
- Sketchbook – Metamorphosis (designjabber.com)
- The metamorphosis by Frank Kafka: Political agenda or utter fantasy? (amyrosemary.wordpress.com)
- The Metamorphosis (jacnogosek.wordpress.com)