Franz Kafka’s novella, The Metamorphosis is one among his most well-known works, along side his posthumously published novel, The Trial. The Metamorphosis may be a story of Gregor Samsa, who wakes up one morning after having overslept and missed the first train that he was required to require for a business trip, and discovers that he had became an enormous bug overnight, apparently a scarabaeid beetle . However, Kafka doesn’t explicitly mention within the text that Samsa definitely turns into a cockroach or not. it’s merely symbolically describes Samsa’s past life and his new life, and in fact his ‘ailment’.
But the story of The Metamorphosis is far quite a somewhat dark, disturbing tale of a person who turns into a pitiful bug. it’s a symbolic tale of a young man, the breadwinner of his family, who is unexpectedly afflicted by a disease (his turning into a bug), the next reactions of his family (grief, resignation, endurance, repugnance then explicit detestation) and his eventual death which brings a way of ‘tranquility’ to Gregor’s family. it’s a tale of a private afflicted by a disease that he has no control over and neither does he have any idea of how it’s and can still influence his and his family’s lives.
At first reading, it’d seem that Gregor Samsa and his metamorphosis is perhaps a metaphor for an illness like cancer but actually, once you take under consideration the family’s aversion to his condition and therefore the change in his appearance, it seems that Kafka has actually used it as a metaphor for illnesses like AIDS. However, I found it easier to know the novella’s symbolism without categorising it into a specific illness or disease. The more humane side of the difficulty , namely the reactions of Gregor’s manager, his parents, sister, their servants, then their three lodgers is really easier to know and relate to for a mean reader.
Nevertheless, the humane side of Kafka’s novella remains somewhat limited due to the absurd nature of the events within the book. Gregor turns into an enormous bug for no clear reason in the least . Kafka never talks a few punishment of any sort or whether Gregor had been a ‘bad boy’ before that fateful morning when he had became a bug. All characters within the book, including Gregor react to his metamorphosis during a rather illogical manner. The characters neither question why Gregor has changed physically, nor do they express any astonishment at the sight of Gregor’s new body – there’s mainly fear at that time and perhaps disappointment. Gregor’s office manager and Mr Samsa (Gregor’s father) are probably the sole ones who express fear and perhaps some shock but his mother simply faints, which by no means suggests that she was shocked because there’s no hint of shock in her behaviour when she wakes up. Grete, Gregor’s sister, deals with the difficulty during a rather resigned manner. Their servant-girl implores her employers to let her go.
Gregor’s metamorphosis produces a curious effect in him, which can or might not be considered as symbolic because it depends on the individual’s interpretation. the method of metamorphosis completely breaks all connections between Gregor’s mind and his body. While his body is that of an insect, with all the bodily processes and requirements that a body of an insect would have, his mind remains that of a person’s with an equivalent coherence within the thought processes that the reader sees throughout the book. One could take this further and speculate about how Kafka’s novella represents the disconnection of our minds and bodies within the times , about how this disconnection is really how we all live today with our minds almost a separate entity in themselves while our bodies move differently and the way each have different requirements. Of course, this will always be countered and criticised. Such is that the nature of literature.
Despite all the absurdities within the Metamorphosis, the novella remains one among Kafka’s most well-known works. the mixture of the absurd and symbolic is really what makes the novella so complex and a stimulating read. However, it’s not everyone’s favourite, which again are often explained by an equivalent . Not everyone likes to read books just like the Metamorphosis. Nevertheless, it’s still worth a read. You never know once you might begin to enjoy a wierd book. Total Words