Metamorphosis

Franz Kafka’s novella, The Metamorphosis is one of his most well-known works, along with his posthumously published novel, The Trial. The Metamorphosis is a story of Gregor Samsa, who wakes up one morning after having overslept and missed the early train that he was required to take for a business trip, and discovers that he had turned into a giant bug overnight, apparently a dung beetle. However, Kafka does not explicitly mention in the text that Samsa definitely turns into a cockroach or not. It is merely symbolically describes Samsa’s past life and his new life, and of course his ‘ailment’.

But the story of The Metamorphosis is much more than a somewhat dark, disturbing tale of a man who turns into a pitiful bug. It is a symbolic tale of a young man, the breadwinner of his family, who is unexpectedly afflicted by a disease (his turning into a bug), the subsequent reactions of his family (grief, resignation, endurance, repugnance and then explicit detestation) and his eventual death which brings a sense of ‘tranquility’ to Gregor’s family. It is a tale of an individual afflicted by a disease that he has no control over and neither does he have any idea of how it has and will continue to influence his and his family’s lives.

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Kafka

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