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201 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1915
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I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.Allow me to explain it to you then:
How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsenseYouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked.
Gregor drew his head back from the door and lifted it to look at his father. Truly, this was not the father he had imagined to himself; admittedly he had been too absorbed of late in his new recreation of crawling over the ceiling to take the same interest as before in what was happening elsewhere in the flat, and he ought really to be prepared for some changes. And yet, and yet, could that be his father? The man who used to lie wearily sunk in bed whenever Gregor set out on a business journey; who welcomed him back of an evening lying in a long chair in a dressing gown; who could not really rise to his feet but only lifted his arms in greeting, and on the rare occasions when he did go out with his family, on one or two Sundays a year and on high holidays, walked between Gregor and his mother, who were slow walkers anyhow, even more slowly than they did, muffled in his old greatcoat, shuffling laboriously forward with the help of his crook-handled stick which he set down most cautiously at every step and, whenever he wanted to say anything, nearly always came to a full stop and gathered his escort around him? Now he was standing there in fine shape; dressed in a smart blue uniform with gold buttons, such as bank messengers wear; his strong double chin bulged over the stiff high collar of his jacket; from under his bushy eyebrows his black eyes darted fresh and penetrating glances; his onetime tangled white hair had been combed flat on either side of a shining and carefully exact parting.
The story is divided into three parts. There are three doors to Gregor’s room. His family consists of three people. Three servants appear in the course of the story. Three lodgers have three beards. Three Samsas write three letters.Three, of course, representing the Holy Trinity (there are many other important details surrounding three, such as the clock tower striking three after Gregor retreats into his room, or Gregor standing on his three hind legs since the fourth was damaged beyond repair). The rejection and unfulfillment of the father is also Gregor’s failure to be valuable in the eyes of the Father, God, and perhaps this may be the cause of the unexplained (and rather unquestioned for the most part) transformation that has befallen the poor man. The fatal blow pinning Gregor to the ground like a crucified Christ (while this may be a slight stretch, there are other Christ-like references such as the sudden pain in Gregor's side much like the spear in the side while on the cross) is an Edenic apple thrown from the father, rotting and festering in him like our sins until we breath our last.
I am now reading The Metamorphosis at jome and find it bad.
"from The Diaries of Franz Kafka. Oct.20, 1913
Great antipathy to "Metamorphosis." Unreadable ending.
Imperfect almost to the foundation. It would have turned out much better if I had not been interrupted at the time by the business trip.
"from The Diaries of Franz Kafka. Jan.19, 1914
An apple thrown without much force glanced against Gregor's back and slid off without doing any harm. Another one however, immediately following it, hit squarely and lodged in his back; Gregor wanted to drag himself away, as if he could remove the surprising, the incredible pain by changing his position; but he felt as if nailed to the spot and spread himself out, all his senses in confusion.My main thought after finishing this is that the family relationships being dissected here are incredibly sad, and disturbing. In an essay on The Metamorphosis, Vladimir Nabokov stated that "Gregor is a human being in an insect's disguise; his family are insects disguised as people." I've gone back and forth on whether I agree with this, but it certainly has given me a lot of food for thought: There's the originally loving sister who turns on him, the frail and helpless mother who lets him be mistreated, and the father who attacks him physically in the only two interactions they have. They betray him repeatedly, and Gregor always accepts it meekly and even makes excuses to himself for their mistreatment of him. His father stashing away Gregor's wages while Gregor was working at a horrific job to pay off the father's bankruptcy, was awful to read about, and Gregor simply rationalizes it. It's particularly chilling how in the end they all brush off .