The Metamorphosis: Book Review

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Priscilla Pittman
ENG 262
Book Review
25 Tuesday 2012
The Metamorphosis
Imagine yourself awakening to find that you simply aren’t; aren’t yourself that is. Such a situation happened to Gregory Samsa when he woke from uneasy dreams one morning to find himself changed into a giant bug. The story of Gregory’s misfortune begins with a climax, the transformation from human to insect and then slowly descends from there to Gregory’s ultimate death.

The author, Franz Kafka, born in Prague grew up with a pressuring father, driving him to be a business man. Kafka not only pursued his fathers’ dreams but also his own. He states in a journal entry “at the office I fulfill my obligations outwardly, but not my inner ones, and every unfulfilled inner obligation turns into a misfortune which does not find its way out of me.” (Kafka, 1388) Somehow Kafka managed to succeed at both endeavors. The writings of Franz Kafka audaciously explore the fear and frustrations of like in the modern age, how it feels to be manipulated by large institutions and betrayed by family and friends.

Organized in sections, the novel offers great detail of Gregory’s life before the condition, during the condition and after he dies. Each part of the novel further explains and leads you to understand this chaotic and dehumanizing event that has taken place. For example in Part 1, Gregory wakes to find that normal human things such as rolling over onto his back is near impossible but the human world that he views is still the same. Underwood translates “his room, a normal human room except that he was rather too small, lay peacefully between the four familiar walls.” (Underwood, 1391) As the story progresses in Part 2 we learn that Gregory’s sister Grete and his mother are the only family members that show him any sympathy. She puts table scraps on the floor to feed him and when Gregory is done she comes in a sweeps up the remains. Gregory finds that he likes the moldiest of foods but defies...
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