book review metamorphosis franz kafka

Book Review: Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

When I landed in the classic book section of the bookshop, I was looking for a poetry book.

Before I knew it what’s happening, I was checking out this one, all because of its cover. 😀

Anyways, that reminded me, it’s been a while I review a classic. Time to read ‘Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka’….

Genre: Classics, Short-Stories, Fantasy.

Main Characters: Gregor Samsa.

‘Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka’ ~~ Synopsis:

Gregor Samsa does a great deal for his family, comprising of his parents and sister.

He works as a travelling salesman and tries to pay off his father’s debt. He hates his job and lives under continuous fear of his bad tempered boss.

But he does not complain and tries his best to keep his family happy.

One day Gregor Samsa wakes up and realizes that somehow he’s turned into some sort of a bug while he’s asleep.  

At first he refuses to believe his new reality and continues to worry how he’s going to get to his office in his current state. If he got late his boss would be angry.

Soon he realizes that he indeed has turned into a bug and do not have much control over his transformed body.

Despite his troubles, Gregor is fearful of being late for the office and what his family would think about his new self.

Soon his parents start knocking on his room’s door, asking him to come out as he’s getting late for the office.

Gregor panics, but refuses to open the door. Until his boss to join his parents and starts threatening him.

Fearing he’d lose his job and his family would end up in the streets; Gregor opens the door and runs after his boss, pleading to his boss to not fire him.

The moment everyone sees Gregor, they begin to run away from him in fear. Gregor’s boss runs out of the house as the bug chases him.

Gregor’s sure his family at least would understand his plight.

But:

His mother too runs away from him and his father in his attempt to shove Gregor back into his room, almost kills him.

Despite the reaction of his family, Gregor continues to nurture the hope that they would try to help him get back to his old self.

His parents continue to avoid Gregor, while his sister attempts to help him a little. At least that’s what he continues to believe to hold on to little hope and sanity.

Review:

The ‘blurb’ states the story is ‘startling, bizarre, yet surprisingly funny’ tale. I kept expecting the funny part to arrive in the short story.

I failed to notice the ‘funny’ part in the story’. Something, maybe a lot, got lost in the translation of this one.

There’s nothing funny about the story. It’s a sad story. The exact portrayal of how some people behave when you cease to be useful to them.

Also, I have been wondering if it’s an analogy or fantasy. It’s good that it already falls into a category – the classic.

That saves me time as I don’t have to worry about what label to put it under.

Maybe the funny part is:

Gregor Samsa turned into a ‘bug’ and no one in his family stopped to think – how could a man turn into a bug overnight?

It just doesn’t make sense. (Conspiracy theory: It’s mentioned that his sister started crying even before Gregor opened his door.

Maybe she hexed the poor guy. Don’t ask me why! It’s just a theory to have some cause for Gregor’s condition.)

But:

Somehow it all makes sense too.

Gregor’s character seems like a symbol of people, who do a LOT for others (mostly family and friends). Such people are appreciated only till others get what they want.  

Once a character like Gregor stop being useful to people around them begins to show their true colors.

Also, sometimes the nicer you behave, the more people around you disrespect and abuse you. This one sentence explains why Gregor ended up dead:

“The more meekly he behaved, the harder his father stamped.” ~~ Franz Kafka (Book: Metamorphosis)

Hit or Miss: Worth investing time reading it! Read and spend some time thinking.

Ratings: 4/5 stars.

Buy:   Amazon   |   iTunes

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Priyanka Sharma

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