Book Review: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

“I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.” Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis.

The Metamorphosis, (1925) by Franz Kafka, is one of the best novels of 20th century literature. Gregoire, a young man living with his family One day When he opens his eyes, he realizes that he is the body of a worm. And from this starting point, the writer puts the protagonist Gregor and his relationship with his immediate environment to the ordeal. Although it gives off a dramatic and creepy feel, Kafka  literally and allegorically hides two meaning in the story. For example, when Gregor is confronted with a new body, the first thing he thinks is whether he is late for work at the office and whether it affects his tardiness from his paycheck. So, the thing that a person waking up from a worm’s body fears the most is the reaction of his employer. And then there is a reaction from his family. It is entirely based on Gure’s salary.
With this in mind, we can see that Gure completely ignored himself during his incarnation. He was on the dead end of a regular job he didn’t like and had to deal with his unbearable boss, just to provide the family with the basics. That is, he is not living his life for himself. For the first time after metamorphosis, he began to think about himself and how to feel comfortable in his room. In some respects, we can say that he became a bug and endangered relationships with nearby people, but actually helped to take care of his desires. So the questions arised in mind that How is it possible for everyone in the world today to live life as if Gure was before his metamorphosis? Are we living our lives primarily for those who need us, not for ourselves and our needs? And in the end are we facing each outcome according to the metamorphosis of the individual?

The one big SPOILER ALERT is that the story ends with Gregor dying and his family finally feeling happy and content, not having to deal with him anymore.

It is a story of cruelty and neglect, and was truly sad and moving.


Book: The Metamorphosis
Author: Franz Kafka
Publisher: Martino Publishing
Year: 1925

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