Andreea's Reviews > The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
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Aug 18, 10

bookshelves: 12th-grade, reviewed
Read in July, 2010

I absolutely loved this story to bits and peices. It was a fairly quick read that stayed with me for a long time - to the point that I'm afraid I'll never be able to kill another cockroach.

The story started off in such a bizarre, unexpected way that I thought it must be a parody. It absolutely is not, and it broke my heart a bit by the end. The premise is that an extremely hard-working man wakes up one morning only to find that he has somehow been turned into an insect of some sort. And while I gaped at the pages and wondered how that happened, Kafka methodically avoided that subject, and described how the insect-man, who retained his human mind, saw his metamorphosis as merely an annoyance, hindering him from going to work. Who would worry about work when they're turned into an insect? There's painful irony somewhere in there.

It took me a while to realize that the metamorphosis in the title of the story did not refer to the change suffered by the man - rather, it refers to the gradual change of the man's family, as the slowly forget that the huge insect in their house is their son, brother.

The completely human reactions of the giant insect were a bit jarring, and ultimately heartbreaking. It shines a whole new light on "specieism", and how different we would treat other animals if we knew there was a heart and emotions behind their faces.

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