The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis

by Franz Kafka

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"The Metamorphosis" (original German title: "Die Verwandlung") is a short novel by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It is often cited as one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century and is widely studied in colleges and universities across the western world. The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into an insect.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781557427663
Publisher: Amazon
Publication date: 08/03/2016
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 56
Sales rank: 296,861
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.20(d)

About the Author

Franz Kafka was born to Jewish parents in Bohemia in 1883. Kafka s father was a luxury goods retailer who worked long hours and as a result never became close with his son. Kafka s relationship with his father greatly influenced his later writing and directly informed his Brief an den Vater (Letter to His Father). Kafka had a thorough education and was fluent in both German and Czech. As a young man, he was hired to work at an insurance company where he was quickly promoted despite his desire to devote his time to writing rather than insurance. Over the course of his life, Kafka wrote a great number of stories, letters, and essays, but burned the majority of his work before his death and requested that his friend Max Brod burn the rest. Brod, however, did not fulfill this request and published many of the works in the years following Kafka s death of tuberculosis in 1924. Thus, most of Kafka s works were published posthumously, and he did not live to see them recognized as some of the most important examples of literature of the twentieth century. Kafka s works are considered among the most significant pieces of existentialist writing, and he is remembered for his poignant depictions of internal conflicts with alienation and oppression. Some of Kafka s most famous works include The Metamorphosis, The Trial and The Castle.

Date of Birth:

July 3, 1883

Date of Death:

June 3, 1924

Place of Birth:

Prague, Austria-Hungary

Place of Death:

Vienna, Austria


German elementary and secondary schools. Graduated from German Charles-Ferdinand University of Prague.

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Metamorphosis 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 91 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recently read this story for a class and I can honestly say it is the first thing I have actually read this semester. I loved this book, despite the fact it made me ¿absurdly sad¿. Kafka is a genius and the story is a testament to the power that the horrific, weird, funny and tragic elements of being human effect us all. The bottom line is READ THIS STORY!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story is definitely very original and makes you think about its messages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the only Kafka work that I truly liked. It's short, sweet, to the point, with in-depth themes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka starts off with the climax of the book when Gregor Samsa ¿woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin¿. The book deals with the family¿s reaction with the traumatizing transformation of their son and brother. The family, who was always taken care of by Gregor, now has to do the same for him. They soon fall under their own metamorphosis as time goes on. The book is heavy in symbolism and has many themes: ranging from learning to let go, living for your soul, proletariats being suppressed by the bourgeoisie, and etc.
Anonymous 11 days ago
Cecrow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My understanding of the grand metaphor at play here is Kafka's feelings of alienation in his being absorbed by the creative act of writing. Thanks to this use of metaphor rather than a literal telling, this story could represent anyone's abruptly becoming their family's black sheep (or 'monstrous vermin', rather) for any reason - a new religious or philosophical conviction, a homosexual who comes out of the closet, or any other event that causes a sudden rift between oneself and one's family, to the extent the people you love and live with feel like they scarcely know you anymore. The stages are there: their initial reaction of horror and the shutting down of communication, grudgingly giving way to the family's sense of duty to acknowledge even its strangest family member, and then ... I'd imagine there's a few different paths after that. Maybe they can reconcile and accept, or maybe not.From Gregor's perspective there's the problem of his no longer being able to communicate with his family in return. He can no longer explain his wants or desires in any language they will understand because he has become entirely alien to them, and so he discovers his own ebbing of empathy for their perspective as well, like a memory in the act of being forgotten. This might be a good classic for adolescents, who so often feel isolated or misunderstood by their family (assuming it's properly introduced.) I read it while ill, an event that tends to skew one's priorities and values and so gave me my own way of relating - the sick invalid who temporarily lacks the same cares as his family around him, shut up in his room and not to be disturbed. Some parts were darkly humorous, but I can't say I found it comforting.
iHalo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿This was my first time reading Franz Kafka¿s `The Metamorphosis¿. My particular course of study did not encompass works of a philosophical nature, so this is new to me. For those of you that have not read The Metamorphosis, I don¿t want to get into too much detail, as I think it would spoil the impact that the book would have on you from the get go. Further to that, try not to Google it or read too much about it prior to picking it up- I promise you, the result will definitely be thought provoking, at the very least. In fact, I read that Kafka insisted that the main subject matter not be printed on the cover of the book- so as not to spoil the effect.After I finished reading it I wasn¿t really sure what I thought about it but after having a couple of days to ponder it- I¿ve decided that I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed Kafka¿s writing style; it was very simplistic and straight forward. Another aspect of the story that I liked was that the climax was at the beginning of the novel and the story develops from there. The protagonist¿s reaction to `the metamorphosis¿ itself was interesting to me, in the sense that there was no apparent alarm there and `the metamorphosis¿ was seen in the most pragmatic terms, all things considering. I think `Metamorphosis¿ was Kafka¿s view of human nature, how we tend to deny or bury unpleasantness and excuse our bad behaviour, especially with the support of others within our group or circle that happen to be guilty of the same bad behaviour and how society will come to terms, and even to accept injustices done to others. I think also, it could be symbolic of Kafka¿s own family experience? It¿s a quick little novella that would take you no time at all to read
bohemiangirl35 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Strange, not quite what I expected. I felt so sorry for poor Gregor - so selfless and yet, unappreciated by his family as a person. Then despised and seen as a burden once he can't support them all. I was disappointed that his parents and sister could so quickly forget that he was their son and brother and sole provider for years. Especially since he was beholden to the company he worked for only because of his parents' debt. Although Gregor didn't grasp how little his family thought of him through most of the story, I was glad he didn't or his feelings would have been even more hurt.I don't like bugs, especially roaches, so parts of the story grossed me out. But is was well worth the read!
Joybee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not the kind of story I usually read, but it kept my interest. I found this story to be funny in places, and a little sad.Gregor Samsa "woke up one morning from unsettling dreams" and "found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin". This is how the story starts, with its climax. The rest of the story goes on to tell about Gregor's new life as a bug, and how he and his family react.I am glad I read this story.
atomheart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
the family of Gregor provide a morbid, yet griping view of the human souls' capacity for compassion.
cdeuker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Better than I remembered. Gregor transformed from a miserable drone working for an unappreciative family and an unappreciative employer into a miserable bug who is forced to hide in his room from his family. This family, little by little, transforms themselves into actual living creatures. All get jobs, all "come out" of their shells (bad pun), all improve. Only Gregor declines and dies, never once feeling any resentment toward those who transformed him from a person into a bug by their parasitic dependence. Fantastic story, incredible matter-of-fact narration.
ChristopherTurner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like all great books there's something for everyone - in that I mean the many layers that exist can be pentrated (or not) depending upon your entry point, perspective or state of mind at the time of reading the novel. A bad dream, a schizophrenic nightmare you cant wake up from, the viscereal reaction of the community to a misunderstood or feared disease or the simply the sense that most people suck. The fact that the "the great one's" are thought to have found inspiration in this novel should tell you everything.
Madaroo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book holds a special place in my heart because when I told my Dad I had become interested in bizarre/satirical literature, he went out by myself to a used book store and picked me up an old copy of the book. I came home to a copy of this book placed neatly on my pillow with a yellow post-it note from Dad that said, "Picked this up at a used bookstore. Enjoy, question, analyze; then we'll talk"
theboylatham on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago

Seven out of ten. eBook.

A man awakes one morning to find that overnight he has transformed into a bug. Far from being suprised, himself and his family take it very much in their stride - not able to face him only because he represents what is clearly to be their demise (he is the only family member who provides income). He becomes progressively more bug-like as the story continues and the family lose the desire to care for him.

sweetiegherkin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is an interesting twist on a classic short story. It is presented here as a graphic novel. The textual adaptation is well done and quite faithful to the original. The dark, moody drawings add to the gloomy atmosphere of the narrative. However, in some of the scenes, the sister is depicted as seeming a lot angrier and aggressive than I recall her being in the original story (although I did read that some five years ago now, so perhaps I am remembering incorrectly). Also, the beginning pictorial representations of Gregor as an insect seem more comic than I would have hoped for given the pathos of this story. However, as the story goes on and Gregor¿s condition worsens, the resulting drawings of the insect Gregor do look more lamentable so that makes up for the cartoonish beetle we see in the beginning.
JoS.Wun on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A bit weird but interesting nonetheless. Kind of illustrates how relatively easy people find it to get used to extraordinary situations in next to no time, but the situation described is just too outlandish to be really convincing. It felt like I was reading an experiment in writing, which perhaps it was.
SparklieSunShine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first and only Kafka. I do have the version with other stories so perhaps they will pop up over the course of the year. Well written and I actually liked the story quite a bit even if it was strange, gross and sad.
GaryPatella on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A story that is short enough to read in a couple of hours, yet interesting and bizarre enough to stay with you for a lifetime. Amount gained from reading is incredible when compared to the short amount of time it takes to read.
sparklegirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pretty crazy book. Guy turns into giant cockroach, nearly tears his family apart, grosses out readers across the world.
TheCriticalTimes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Probably the first thing you learn when you start a creative writing program is that you never ever start a novel with: "When I woke up this morning ...". Kafka's Metamorphosis starts with essentially that, but not in first person perspective. A clerk/office worker/ salesman wakes up one morning transformed into a bug. Most likely a cockroach, but whichever insect he transformed into isn't mentioned, and isn't important. His entire life Gregor Samsa has worked hard to support his mother, father and younger sister. He diligently accepts any task his office assigns to him and he does not spend a single penny of his earnings on himself. His first thought after waking up isn't: what the hell just happened to me, instead his first source of panic is the fact that he can't take care of his family anymore and that he can't fulfill his assigned social role. From the beginning of the novel the main character's reaction gives the text a humorous overtone, which does slowly dissipates as you get towards the ending. During the reading of the novel I felt that Kafka teases those who pick up the book to come up with possible conclusions, none of which are as depressing or as surprising as the one actually featured.The Metamorphosis is a novel that many scholars have studied for a long time and for which they have given many explanations and analyses. Granted the short story is written as a tease for intellectuals. But I'm not sure the text warrants this. One glaring piece of evidence comes from the edition of the book I read, in which scholars argue that the main character's name Gregor Samsa is an anagram for Kafka. In the same edition we find an account of Kafka in dialog with a friend who asked him about this idea upon which the great author responded: don't be absurd that's utter nonsense.Some argue that the novel is a form of social criticism in which Kafka magnifies roles and stereotypes to show the absurd expectations of the cultural atmosphere at the time. Gregor is a hard worker who does not question the tyranny and unrealistic expectations of his family and colleagues, a battle he can not win. For his blindness he is punished by being transformed into the physical incarnation of his family's already existing scorn. His eventual lot is to succumb to his unquestioned acceptance of his role and live out the lifeline laid out for vermin.
Shambler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved it. I can't really put it any better than that. I grabbed it as a public domain ebook and read the thing on my lunch break. Darkly humorous, absurd yet relatable, and almost painfully mundane.
Anagarika-Sean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a great story! Kafka's symbolism is absolutely fantastic. A master. I hope to read more of his work soon.
gbill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.¿ Ya gotta love that opening line. Who hasn¿t felt acute alienation from the world? That one is an outcast and is isolated to the point of being despised and ugly? Gregor the bug is Kafka the artist and Kafka the man. And Kafka was troubled: ¿If there were not these ghastly sleepless nights, I would not write at all. But in this way I am always conscious of my dark solitary confinement.¿ And: ¿Art for the artist is only suffering through which he releases himself for further suffering.¿Gregor has difficulty living up to the expectations of his father, has a tyrant for a boss, and feels guilt and shame. Published in 1915, these are modern, existential thoughts as Gregor/Kafka attempts to cope with what seems like a suffocating, absurd world. It¿s a little sad that Kafka was so tortured that these thoughts were in his head; I wonder what his domineering father thought when he read this book, and if he felt ashamed.Despite all of that great angst and the creativity that went into the concept of a man turning into a bug, I had only a lukewarm reaction to the book, and for me it¿s downhill after that first line. It is an important book and one that you should probably read once in your life, but I also think it¿s a bit over-analyzed. In the edition I have, for example, there a 12 page introduction, the 55 page text, and then 135 pages of notes, analysis, and letters. Don¿t get me wrong, I normally love that type of thing, Norton Critical Editions and all of that, but here the commentary often seems ¿off¿ in the sense of being over-thought.
SRumzi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was disgusted and riveted.
dracopet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although Kafka isn't considered an existentialist author to the extent that Camus is, this novella is about a million times more compelling than 'The Stranger' could ever hope to be, and does what the 'The Stranger' was supposed to do: portray how terrifying the world is if there is no rhyme, reason, or fairness.