Lamski Kikita's Reviews > The Metamorphosis and Other Stories

The Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka
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's review
Oct 03, 2009

it was amazing
Read in December, 2009

Do not, under any circumstances, believe any of the introductions to Kafka books especially if they tell you that there is no point of trying to interpret, read into, or analyze Kafka's writing, and that it just is; read it for its poetic prose and for the beauty of the stories... BULLSHIT!!!
If you have any sense at all, you will read Kafka, and you will read into the stories, you will come up with hidden messages, and you will see the politics and sociology in it, and it will mess up with your head... THAT is the beauty of Kafka, THAT is what makes him one of a kind.

I did not really know what I was feeling reading this story, so small and yet packed with the agony that is the human condition and the ugliness of the human race. The beauty of Gregor's story is that it reveales to us so simply sans any clichees the basic human nature, and how sometimes, family bonds can come to nothing overnight. Gregor wakes up one morning to find out that he has turned into a giant beatle. Kafka does not tell us whether he's been a beatle for a while and only found out that morning, or if he only became one that very day, which opens a door for interpretation. Gregor, who let his managers at work treat him like an insect, allowed his family to give him no respect, like an insect, while he just did what he was supposed to do, without standing up for himself, without demanding that he be treated like a human, because maybe he felt, yes, like an insect. Was he ever a guy, really? hasn't he always been an insect trapped in a man's body? Were his managers really human? Was his family- who only saw him as a piggy bank, a means to provide for them and pay back their debts (they sucked the juice out of him, like leeches), whose loss of ability to work and produce cash minimized him into an object of hate, disgust, and shame- human at all? Who is the insect here? Think about this when you have a spare moment to yourself... do you ever feel like a giant beetle? is the human race at all human, or are we all insects?

The Great Wall of China

You can really see how much our Franz used to think, about all sorts of things. Does anyone really know why the Wall of China was built? and why was it built in sections like that? Not really, and the more he thought about it, it seems, the more he could not figure it out.

Investigations of a Dog

This story struck me as extremely political. This dog/philosopher, wondering about where food comes from, and questioning the belief system of Dogs sounds like many a 19th-20th century political phylosopher trying to figure out how the world works. Sometimes I felt as though this story was either in praise of, in criticism of, or in frustration of one's own belief in Communism (especially the parts about the unity of dogs, the sharing of food, the power of the collective etc). It is also about being the odd one out, the sheep astray from the herd, the freethinker, the outcast. I really enjoyed analyzing this one, and trying to figuring it out. I also kindda identified with this quote "our generation is lost, it may be, but it is more blameless than those earlier ones. I can understand the hesitation of my generation, indeed it is no longer mere hesitation; it is the thousandth forgetting of a dream dreamt a thousand times and forgotten a thousand times; who can damn us merely for forgetting for the thousandth time?"

The Burrow

Kakfa speaks of an underground creature, living in its borrow, thinking constantly of its borrow: how to make it better, how to make it safer, where to store food, etc etc etc. Does Franz tell us that this creature is an animal? He doesn't for a reason; so it could be open to interpretation. And mine is that he is metaphorically telling us about ourselves, humans who build homes and give birth to the nationstate, which is, like a burrow, supposed to be the place in which you feel safe, but which is also the source of your worries and anxieties, and yes, the source of your problems. The creature in the burrow has his moments of doubt, whether his real enemy is a known enemy, one big enemy, or a huge number of small enemies. Is it an enemy that has been lurking in the shadows waiting for the right moment to attack? Is it a new kind of monsterous creature he does not know? Is it someone planning revenge? or worst of all, is it a creature of his own kind, that wants to kill him and take over his burrow? If this doesn't this sound a bit familiar to you at all, then you do probably live in a hole!

In the Penal Settlement

Reading this felt like reading Discipline and Punish by Foucault. Just a reminder how really sick and dimented people, and how more sick and dimented the ones in power are! This is just one of those things you read and you have nightmares about for weeks. The ending is very interesting though, would you do unto yourself what you do to others?

The Mole

I felt that this story was less about the giant mole and more about how sometimes great egos are in the way of great discoveries.

There is no doubt that Kafka was/is a genious. Reading his work made me really see why he died so young; great thinkings suffer from their thoughts, and torture themselves to deal with all the ideas pushing forward to be heard first. I will agree with one thing though, there is no defining the Kafkaesque, for it, like beauty, comes in many forms.
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Reading Progress

12/07/2009 page 30
12/08/2009 page 30
13.39% "what would you do if you woke up and found out u just became a giant beetle?" 4 comments
12/10/2009 page 66
29.46% "why was the Great Wall REALLY built?"
12/14/2009 page 115
51.34% "if you haven't enough to eat, we'll give you some of ours"
12/17/2009 page 123
54.91% "are u really safe in your burrow?"
12/28/2009 page 175
78.13% "capital punishment is one thing, but one that lasts 12 hours is a whole other thing..."
04/26/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by miaaa (new)

miaaa lams, the last bits that I read was that gregor's sister has a work and so does his father. you need to tell me how the story ends :p

message 2: by miaaa (new)

miaaa okay seriously I couldnt think of anything to say, so I just made a brief comment as a review. your turn missy :p

message 3: by miaaa (new)

miaaa it's a way too long for me to read but i like your closing so I voted :D

jokings .... I read them through and through hehe

Justin Scro You're dead right. Never read that shit. Someone who devotes their life to someone they exult will never see them clearly. Give me someone who lives life, now we're talking.

message 5: by Ij (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ij Great review!!!

message 6: by Oxford (new)

Oxford Exchange Exactly! How can one not find symbolism in these stories, especially in "The Metamorphosis"!!!

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