The Metamorphosis The Metamorphosis discussion


895 views
Wait...what?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 57 (57 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Brandon (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:52AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brandon Why did Kafka write this?


message 2: by Roshanak (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new)

Roshanak Is that a rhetorical question or would you really want to know why Kafka wrote it? or... Perhaps you are questioning the mere fact that he wrote it. Something like" "It would have been much better if he hadn't written it."

In case my third guess is right: How else could he have shown how absured he thought life is? He had to show it one way or another. He was good at writing, so he shoed it by writing !


message 3: by Kecia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kecia OK, Brandon...I really want to hear your thoughts on this one! Why do you ask this question? Perhaps he wrote it just to put that bug in your ear....

Metamorphosis is short so most people start their journey into Kafka's world here...but I think The Trial or The Castle are better starting points with The Metamorphosis as the finale.

I have a friend who paints huge canvases of wide spaces with tiny people...they always make me think of Kafka. When another friend asked why the people were so tiny he replied that people are insignificant. Perhaps Kafka thought so too.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Because for some there is nothing more terrible to imagine than alienation from your loved ones and their growing disgust with you. And what is more loathsome--not frightening, but loathsome--than the insects who seek to infiltrate our pantries, wriggling around our feet in the dark?

May God forever bless Kafka's friend who refused to consign K's works to the flames.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Now why do you have to go and ruin perfectly good romantic thinking with right-headed reason? Darn it.


message 6: by Jeremy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:57AM) (new)

Jeremy I fell in love with this book when I read it some twenty years ago as a senior in high school. It was the first book I was assigned that spoke to me - although what teenager isn't grappling with issues of alienation and isolation. I need to read this book now that 20 years have passed and see what I get of out in now.


message 7: by Sara (last edited Jan 17, 2008 01:49PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara Lou I've not read this book properly, in fact i only happened to start reading when a copy turned up at my workplace and I started reading it on one of my coffee breaks.

I was rather amused by it more than anything, and trying to understand what on earth it was all about. However not being my book, I couldn't take it. I should really get it out at the library and finish reading it. Certainly a book which had me wondering, not sure I should have found it so funny, but really, waking up as a large insect instead of your humanoid form, well it's just bizarre. And humorous, especially when he's panicking about his parents and boss opening the door.

Don't understand why it was banned for so long.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Kafka. "The meaning of life is that it stops."


Jason who cares why he wrote it? i'm just glad he did. this is classic.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Well said.


message 11: by Diana (new)

Diana I think in this day and age of criticism of the family and modern life in general, it is hard to understand how radical Kafka was.

Compare Metamorphosis to, say, the Brady Bunch. How would the Brady's have dealt with it if, say, Cindy, had woken up as a giant bug? They would have joined with her in heart-warming concern and sympathy and either found a way to cure her or made it a life lesson about how we can love each other and stick together through thick and thin no matter what we look like on the outside. Because that's what families do, right?

But here is a perfectly respectable, middle-class family, and what do they do? Resent him for the inconvenience he places them under by turning into a bug. In fact, we learn that his family has generally treated him like a bug for a long time: they rely on him, he is the only one who works, he is plodding, consistent, self-sacrificing...kind of like a bug. And he continues to be so, even when it turns out that once his family can't rely on him, they all get over their "sicknesses" and "weaknesses" that have forced him to support them, get to work and move on. So when they resent him, he forgives them. His final act of bug-like self-sacrifice is his death. While they happily go on without him. Because that's what families do.

Does it make more sense why it would be banned? Especially by both fascists and communists whose ideology is based on individual sacrifice for the common good?


Sinjinn i have to say i didnt like this book either. i can understand why he wrote it , i just dont understand why its famous/popular. its well written , with an intresting concept.. and thats about it.

personally i think this is one of those books that just basks in the reflected glory of his better works.


Melissa Dee I have summed up my feelings in a haiku.

Very well written
But I really hated it
Time for a Pop Tart


Geoffrey Good.
17 syllables.
Maybe Pop Tarts are your real speed.
Keep going.


message 15: by Esha (new) - rated it 5 stars

Esha Varma I wonder why don't people realize that its not just about a man who woke up as a bug, it is about how conditional and self-centered the love we live by is. and how insignificant the human life is. how petty are the things we die worrying over.
this book was named metamorphosis for a reason, for self-realization of our own pettiness.


Melissa Dee Don't think I get you
My taste is for something sweet
Tarts not essential


William Van It has been interpreted variously as an allegory for Christian mythology as well as a metaphor for Kafka's own struggle with tuberculosis. Either way there is more to it than just a guy turning into a beetle.


Smith Nickerson Sometimes I feel like I am Gregor.


message 19: by Melissa (last edited Aug 22, 2011 06:30AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Melissa To really understand this book you have to read Kafka´s life. It really wasnt very different.


message 20: by Çili (new) - added it

Çili         I agree with Melissa


Rachael Stephen I found it funny at first, but then very sad. Personally I think it's an incredibly well written piece, and kind of harrowing, I think Kafka definitely achieved what he was aiming for. Also after hearing about autobiographical theories about it, and his relationship with his father, it gains even more significance.

Having said all that, I'm glad it's short, because I find it uncomfortable to read.


Geoffrey It`s a story about a man who wakes up to the fact that there`s no spiritual side to him. He`s only a bug with no soul.


Rosio To me it is book about isoloation... essentially the human being needs someone or something to share his/her experience of this world. In isolation there is nothing.... loss of meaning, loss of self, eventually loss of life.


Geoffrey Rosio
We`re talking about the same thing.


Melissa Geoffrey wrote: "It`s a story about a man who wakes up to the fact that there`s no spiritual side to him. He`s only a bug with no soul."

I think that more than he has no spiritual side of him is about the way his family saw him. Like i said before, the bug is the same Kafka. He hated his life and the way his family never let him be happy, he went to law school because of his father, he wanted to be a writter, he never was himself at home, he felt like that: like a bug. And at the end even when he died the family got rid of him, they went on with their lifes (this is the point where you really see that is about his family because if the book was about the Bug it should have ended when he died).


Geoffrey Yes, but he internalizes their image of him, doesn`t he?


Melissa Geoffrey wrote: "Yes, but he internalizes their image of him, doesn`t he?"

True that too...


Sinjinn Kafka deals with the subject well. You can imagine that sort of situation everywhere in relation to disability and old age etc.

My problem with the book is that it never goes anywhere. Its a clever description of a situation but its not a story. I'd rather read something that has a plot, where change happens, where things move forward rather than a short unpleasant visit into a squalid and repulsive life. I could relate with the character very well because I've been in similar boots but ultimately I wanted to shut the door on him just like his family did.


message 29: by Melissa (last edited Aug 30, 2011 10:29AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Melissa Sinjinn wrote: "Kafka deals with the subject well. You can imagine that sort of situation everywhere in relation to disability and old age etc.

My problem with the book is that it never goes anywhere. Its a cl..."


This is a great story. Maybe you should try V for Vendetta the comic book. I think is a great story with everything you are looking for.


Geoffrey Melissa
You sly girl you. What acerbic wit!


Melissa Geoffrey wrote: "Melissa
You sly girl you. What acerbic wit!"


Is that sarcasm? i really meant what i said about V for Vendetta (is a great novel).

Is just that The Metamorphosis is such a deep book. I guess Sinjinn has to see it as Kafka´s biography (in a metaphore way but realistic at the same time). He has to ask himself: Do I have plots in my life? NOT EVERYONE HAS IT! so maybe he would find this book pleasurable.


message 32: by Hiba (new) - rated it 3 stars

Hiba interesting article i found about gripping opening paragraphs including The metamorphosis.

http://asolitarypassion.blogspot.com/...


Elisaveta Belobradova Why did Kafka write this? What a reasonable question in our 21st century. If we ask ourselves why Stephenie Meyer wrote all those books, the answer is simple and adequate - money. Most writers have all kinds of reasons for writing - contracts, fame. Even Dickens wrote mainly for money. (Though he has nothing to do whatsoever with the Meyer-vampire-money-making-machine) Before dying, Kafka left all his works with his best friend and made him promise that he will burn them all. Kafka himself did not have the courage to do it. Fortunately, his best friend decided otherwise.
For me, the answer of that particular question is - because he had no choice. Sometimes the genius is stronger than the human body that holds it.


Geoffrey Melissa
I took your remarks to be sarcastic and now you have taken mine to be. Hunh?


message 35: by Erik (new) - rated it 4 stars

Erik This book is pointless; however, I think that was the point of it. One of the passages that stands out to prove this is one that's somewhere at the beginning. It talks about the picture on his wall. It's a magazine cut out that he put in a gilt frame. I don't remember it word for word, but it ends with "extending her arms which had entirely vanished within her great fur muff!" or something. a) what kind of creep puts magazine cut outs on his wall? b) muffs are SUPPOSED to make your arms vanish... that's not exciting news and definitely not worth an exclamation point. Both of these things lead me to think that Kafka wrote this and meant nothing. This sort of emphasizes the insignificance of man. The whole story parallels Gregor's existence, which is meaningless; he's nothing but an insect.


Melissa Geoffrey wrote: "Melissa
I took your remarks to be sarcastic and now you have taken mine to be. Hunh?"


Im so sorry it must be that im not from the same culture and language so i want to really understand! THANKS!

ANYWAY, you are right when you said that he internalizes their image of him...


Charles Metamorphosis is brilliant. It was written because so few others have the skill, insight, and magic to have written it.

The comment "My problem with the book is that it never goes anywhere. Its a clever description of a situation but its not a story. I'd rather read something that has a plot, where change happens, where things move forward rather than a short unpleasant visit into a squalid and repulsive life" is shockingly imperceptive and shallow. Just following this thread should powerfully illustrate that the book has gone many places, and affected many people, that there is not only a plot but a profound one.

Life metamorphosizes, sometimes subtly, and rarely episodically or dramatically. Life is not defined in 22 minute episodes, in sound bites, in convenient easily digestible morsels.


Sinjinn Charles wrote: "Metamorphosis is brilliant. It was written because so few others have the skill, insight, and magic to have written it.

The comment "My problem with the book is that it never goes anywhere. Its..."


Honestly, I don't think it is imperceptive. I said he deals with the subject well, I can recognise the quality of it and the cleverness but it is bloody boring and gloomy.
Personally I dont think its right to praise and admire something just because other people think its a classic. A lot of people do not like this book for the reasons I have given and it is not because we dont "get it" , it is because we do get it and are not suitably impressed by it.


message 39: by J.M. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.M. Porup The book is about self-loathing. It's about waking up one morning and saying, you know what? I am a worthless piece of shit. I am scum. I am an asshole. I am no better than a, a, a cockroach! That's it, a cockroach!

If you've got lots of yummy self-esteem, then you're not likely to connect to The Metamorphosis.

J.M. Porup
www.JMPorup.com


Christos Tsotsos Brandon wrote: "Why did Kafka write this?"

I guess he had an itch...


message 41: by Angie (last edited Jan 12, 2012 06:58AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Angie I read once that Kafka was in bed suffering from an illness and was taken cared by someone of his family. It was at that moment where he thought of the frustration of being a burden to his family, when one cannot do something to help in the house while everyone can go on with their lives as well.

When he was asked about his opinion of the novel, he said he didn't like it. I can share the same opinion as well.


message 42: by Ajay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ajay Why did Kafka write this?
I don't know why he wrote it, but maybe...
I guess he had a feeling that life of one person was pointless. Gregor earned the dough for the family. But since he turned to a bug one day, he started being a burden to the family. The burden kept on escalating till his death. And then his entire family started looking at themselves anew. Like the family had something to look forward to after his demise. Sometimes screaming out - What was Gregor's role in the family at all? Was he really a help? Undeniably Life just goes on. No one owes you anything.

Your views?


Angie Ajay wrote: "Why did Kafka write this?
I don't know why he wrote it, but maybe...
I guess he had a feeling that life of one person was pointless. Gregor earned the dough for the family. But since he turned ..."


I agree with you. It's sad and cruel to think that life goes on even if you disappear. Unfortunately or not, it is also true.

One can tolerate to be an outcast out of the family. Nevertheless, when the group whom you consider as a family starts having the same behaviour Greg's had, you can't take it and you feel totally destroyed.


Thaisa Frank I agree with Elisaveta. Kafka wrote The Metamorphosis because he had no choice. (That's why I write books--in addition to the more smarmy desire for money which presumably Kafka wasn't bound to because he worked as a lawyer for workers' compensation--and supposedly was incredibly compassionate and good at his job.)

About Kafka asking Max Brod to burn his stuff: There's some speculation that he knew Brod wouldn't--since he was a great admirer of his work and published some of his stories.


Kressel Housman Here's something really funny if you have the time: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio...


Sparrowlicious Can you guys even enjoy Kafka properly in English?
I'm asking because he always wrote in what dict.cc translates for me as "multi-clause sentences".
What I mean is that he has such a load of information in his sentences that in the original language - German - you have to put a comma there and keep in mind how you started that sentence because most of the time the verb will be at the very end of it.

Well, whatever. I bet if anyone is really interested in answering this they can write me a note or something. I won't pick up a translated version because that would make no sense since my native language is German anyway ...

As for this topic:
I bet someone already got an answer on this. Then again, why does anyone write anything?
I for my part like constructing stories I like. Writing them is the hardest part. But I keep trying.
Kafka loved being an author, even if his father disapproved.


Amber Kafka just writes like this, all of his novels include strange situations that take the reader and the protagonist along for a wild ride. Read the Castle, it's much more dense and even weirder than Metamorphosis and even the Trial. I happened to enjoy this though, it leads the reader to question what they would do if faced with something that leaves them as different from everyone else.
Five stars Franz Kafka!


Meran I'm sure some writers write to make money and so write 'popular genres'... some just write. A story comes, from inspiration or from dreams; then they write it. It might be that a reason comes forward from the writing and so they can edit to add relevant material to fit the reason.

I loved it. Found it bittersweet and very insightful. Gross and funny too.


Thaisa Frank Without Kafka we would have waited much longer to have a fairy tale of modern life. He taught me so much of what I now know as a writer. He always gets five stars from me.


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

Why would one ever write a book?


« previous 1
back to top