The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka [Book Review]

The Metamorphosis is a novella by Franz Kafka published in the year 1915 originally in German language by Kurt Wolff Verlag, Leipzig. It has been contemplated as an exceptionally influential work of fiction of the 20th century.

It begins with the story of Gregor Samsa, a traveling salesman living in Prague, who wakes up one morning from troubled dreams to find himself transformed into a monstrous looking creature abruptly into a vermin. He gets stunned and terrified at his obfuscating condition at once. He tries scuffling with his plight to get back to his normal appearance but unfortunate, he fails sorrowfully.

Not even his physical emergence but also his voice recognition sensed an arbitrary change in his body. He finds that it is impossible to converse with his family members as they couldn’t acknowledge his voice and perceived Samsa as if he was going through some sort of an ailment and leaves him to recover. How obnoxious of his family.

A day passes but nothing favorable happens to him and he was left isolated, all aloof from human contact. Dilapidated, Samsa loses his job, parents, sister, and even himself and his human form.

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Grete, his sister was his only support who feeds him, cleans his room. But, later on, her interest in her brother also diminishes because he was becoming an object of denunciation for the guest coming in their apartment. It was because of Samsa only that their family was cladding with harsh opprobrium from passersby and acquaintances.

What happened to Samsa afterwards? How did he cope with his monstrous transformation? Did he get human contact or was left alone to die? These interrogations are obviously of utmost concern to know the exquisite specimens of Franz Kafka’s impeccable fictionalisation.

Personal Opinion: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Metamorphosis is a must-read for all ages as it shows the selfish instinct of mankind and his self-serving trait. How can a man neglect his loved ones just because he stopped procuring monetary advantages to gratify his fundamental urges? Same happened with Samsa also.

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Kafka’s writing style was almost autobiographical as his every composition reflects himself and revolves near his life. Therefore, metamorphosis is highly autobiographical as it depicts major complications of Kafka’s life which he probably went through in his early age. Kafka was bullied by his father, because of a smaller body, low physique but energetic intellect. He was criticized for every possible thing which derogated his relationship with his father. That is why he remained under the shadow and did not come out of self-hatred forever. Mirroring his own life, Kafka did not oversee his finest work to be hit at all and he declared it as unreadable.

But George Steiner and Guardian reviewed Metamorphosis and articulated Franz Kafka as the greatest writer of the 20th century and even goes on comparing Kafka with Dante & Shakespeare. Metamorphosis was able to gain positive reviews from all over the world and was listed in must-read books in a lifetime by Goodreads.

I feel that Metamorphosis is a must-read for everyone as it gives us the vivid perception of isolation and loneliness and how much is it vital to remain together. It goes through the pain of Samsa’s solitude and how much was he craving for human contact.

Tanzeela Umar

Graduating from English, History & Sociology. Reader, history lover & decent introvert. Sometimes, try to write .

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