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The Metamorphosis

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Highly recommended

A man wakes up one day to find he has been changed into a large insect/beetle. The story follows his efforts to deal with this, and his family's reaction to the change. But it's not just a story about a man turning into a beetle, it's a clever way of writing about how a...
A man wakes up one day to find he has been changed into a large insect/beetle. The story follows his efforts to deal with this, and his family's reaction to the change. But it's not just a story about a man turning into a beetle, it's a clever way of writing about how a family would deal with the main breadwinner in the house becoming unable to work, and also on a wider scope, the way a family (and the world at large) reacts to someone who is disabled, or terminally ill. It could also be an analogy for how a family treats a member of the family who is now old and needs to be cared for. The man who is now a beetle, is forced to live in his room, shut away from the world, for fear that he will frighten anyone who enters the house. The man who once provided for the family, and thought of them above himself, has now become a burden on them, as they are now short of money, and have to find employment. The once able and hard-working man, transformed into a beetle, is now rejected, and his family blame him for their financial situation and the fact that they cannot move to a smaller house, because they need to have a room to keep him in.
The descriptive quality of the writing is excellent, and although it is a sad and gruesome tale, it is also very funny in parts; I couldn't help laughing out loud a couple of times.
The main thing that struck me, was that even though this story is nearly 100 years old, it is still totally relevant to today's world (and I'm not sure that's something we should be proud of).

posted by MariaSavva_Author on December 2, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Doesn't deserve all the acclaim.

My sister loved this book, and evidently so did online reviewers and critics. In fact, the book version I read is full of critical essays at the back: how the story relates to religion, resurrection, liberation, tragedy, allegory, how "Kafka" is an anagram, etc. But I j...
My sister loved this book, and evidently so did online reviewers and critics. In fact, the book version I read is full of critical essays at the back: how the story relates to religion, resurrection, liberation, tragedy, allegory, how "Kafka" is an anagram, etc. But I just don't see how this story deserves all that attention. It wasn't very realistic, even disregarding the main theme that a man turns into a beetle, the allegorical intent wasn't clear, unlike say "Animal Farm," the ending was unrealistic, disappointing, and prolonged, the story wasn't very interesting compared to movies like "The Fly" or "Sssssss" or "Thinner", and the writing wasn't particularly clever or appealing. It's just a story about a young man named Gregor who turns into some unspecified beetle/vermin, generally considered to be a cockroach, and about the effect this has on his family as his family locks him away in his bedroom. The whole story takes place in a single house, so it would be suitable for a play, but lacks some interest as a result. It is not clear if Gregor is merely imagining his voice as being intelligible or if it really is, it's not clear if Gregor's metamorphosis is making him progressively insect-like or if his state is stable, it's not clear why he's not hungry at the end, or whether he's becoming weak through lack of nutrition or rather laziness, and so on. Obviously the book is full of symbolism, but the meaning and nature of Gregor's situation is never very clear, which I regard as a result of a poor, sketchy writing style, rather than an intentional allegory. We clearly perceive that Gregor's condition brings about an improvement in everyone in his family, that Gregor was working himself to death for no reason, there are stabs at conventional working life and at nasty bosses who rule their employees' lives, but what this all means is never clear. So I guess all a writer has to do to universally elicit the interest of critics is to write a weak, simplistic story with a preposterous theme and make it vague enough that nobody understands it. To me that is not good writing.

posted by Simnia on November 4, 2008

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  • Posted December 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended

    A man wakes up one day to find he has been changed into a large insect/beetle. The story follows his efforts to deal with this, and his family's reaction to the change. But it's not just a story about a man turning into a beetle, it's a clever way of writing about how a family would deal with the main breadwinner in the house becoming unable to work, and also on a wider scope, the way a family (and the world at large) reacts to someone who is disabled, or terminally ill. It could also be an analogy for how a family treats a member of the family who is now old and needs to be cared for. The man who is now a beetle, is forced to live in his room, shut away from the world, for fear that he will frighten anyone who enters the house. The man who once provided for the family, and thought of them above himself, has now become a burden on them, as they are now short of money, and have to find employment. The once able and hard-working man, transformed into a beetle, is now rejected, and his family blame him for their financial situation and the fact that they cannot move to a smaller house, because they need to have a room to keep him in.
    The descriptive quality of the writing is excellent, and although it is a sad and gruesome tale, it is also very funny in parts; I couldn't help laughing out loud a couple of times.
    The main thing that struck me, was that even though this story is nearly 100 years old, it is still totally relevant to today's world (and I'm not sure that's something we should be proud of).

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2007

    Must Love Kafka

    I recently read this story for a class and I can honestly say it is the first thing I have actually read this semester. I loved this book, despite the fact it made me ¿absurdly sad¿. Kafka is a genius and the story is a testament to the power that the horrific, weird, funny and tragic elements of being human effect us all. The bottom line is READ THIS STORY!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Enjoyably Different!

    This story is definitely very original and makes you think about its messages.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Doesn't deserve all the acclaim.

    My sister loved this book, and evidently so did online reviewers and critics. In fact, the book version I read is full of critical essays at the back: how the story relates to religion, resurrection, liberation, tragedy, allegory, how "Kafka" is an anagram, etc. But I just don't see how this story deserves all that attention. It wasn't very realistic, even disregarding the main theme that a man turns into a beetle, the allegorical intent wasn't clear, unlike say "Animal Farm," the ending was unrealistic, disappointing, and prolonged, the story wasn't very interesting compared to movies like "The Fly" or "Sssssss" or "Thinner", and the writing wasn't particularly clever or appealing. It's just a story about a young man named Gregor who turns into some unspecified beetle/vermin, generally considered to be a cockroach, and about the effect this has on his family as his family locks him away in his bedroom. The whole story takes place in a single house, so it would be suitable for a play, but lacks some interest as a result. It is not clear if Gregor is merely imagining his voice as being intelligible or if it really is, it's not clear if Gregor's metamorphosis is making him progressively insect-like or if his state is stable, it's not clear why he's not hungry at the end, or whether he's becoming weak through lack of nutrition or rather laziness, and so on. Obviously the book is full of symbolism, but the meaning and nature of Gregor's situation is never very clear, which I regard as a result of a poor, sketchy writing style, rather than an intentional allegory. We clearly perceive that Gregor's condition brings about an improvement in everyone in his family, that Gregor was working himself to death for no reason, there are stabs at conventional working life and at nasty bosses who rule their employees' lives, but what this all means is never clear. So I guess all a writer has to do to universally elicit the interest of critics is to write a weak, simplistic story with a preposterous theme and make it vague enough that nobody understands it. To me that is not good writing.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2004

    I Wish All Books Were Like This

    This is the only Kafka work that I truly liked. It's short, sweet, to the point, with in-depth themes.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2008

    My Own Synopsis

    The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka starts off with the climax of the book when Gregor Samsa ¿woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin¿. The book deals with the family¿s reaction with the traumatizing transformation of their son and brother. The family, who was always taken care of by Gregor, now has to do the same for him. They soon fall under their own metamorphosis as time goes on. The book is heavy in symbolism and has many themes: ranging from learning to let go, living for your soul, proletariats being suppressed by the bourgeoisie, and etc.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    REVIEWED: The Metamorphosis WRITTEN BY: Franz Kafka PUBLISHED: M

    REVIEWED: The Metamorphosis
    WRITTEN BY: Franz Kafka
    PUBLISHED: MONTH, YEAR

    “The Metamorphosis” is an enjoyable read, not difficult (as is often the expectation of classic literature), and interesting, in a unique, quiet way. It’s also overrated and, in my opinion, unsatisfying. The publisher’s overview is: “Gregor Samsa, a young man who, transformed overnight into a monstrous verminous bug, becomes an essentially alienated man.” That essentially sums up the entire story. There’s no more plot or build-up than that. Gregor hides in his room all day, as a bug, much to his and his family’s dismay. There’s no explanation as to what occurred to transform him as such, nor any great closing revelation; the story is simply Gregor caught up in his thoughts. It’s a book of interior voice, analogy, philosophy, satire, but not much “story.” There are many themes to contemplate, and if you are searching for a better understanding to man’s lot in life, this book may be for you. However, in terms of entertainment, it’s insufficient. Extra points allotted, however, for originality and for being the inspiration to numerous authors and genre movements such as satire and the more-recent bizarro.

    Three-and-a-half out of Five stars

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  • Posted March 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Meta­mor­pho­sis by Franz Kafka is one of the author¿s most

    The Meta­mor­pho­sis by Franz Kafka is one of the author’s most famous novel­las. The work was pub­lished after his death.

    This is the story of Gre­gor Samsa who wakes up one morn­ing and dis­cov­ered he has turned into a giant bug. Gre­gor is wor­ried because he over­slept and missed his train for work. The meta­mor­pho­sis is a metaphor for an ill­ness a per­son is inflicted with which is out­side their control.

    Gre­gor is the sole bread­win­ner for his fam­ily and their reac­tions to his rad­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion are what makes the book both sad and dis­con­cert­ing. Gregor’s fam­ily goes through grief, endurance, repug­nance and sad of all, blam­ing Gre­gor him­self and detest­ing what he has become.

    The Meta­mor­pho­sis by Franz Kafka is a dark and dis­turb­ing tale. The story cap­tured me from the first line “One morn­ing, as Gre­gor Samsa was wak­ing up from anx­ious dreams, he dis­cov­ered that in his bed he had been changed into a mon­strous ver­minous bug”. We know noth­ing about Gre­gor, who are what he is, and this strange open­ing sim­ply breeds curiosity.

    The story is rel­e­vant even today, which is why I believe this sim­ple tale became a clas­sic. The feel­ing of help­less­ness, escap­ing things which are dif­fi­cult and /or beyond our con­trol and make our hum­drum lives easy and sim­ple.
    It is dif­fi­cult to face the truth, and why would you want to unless you absolutely had to do so?

    Kafka’s world (in this case a room) is dark and fore­bod­ing, with sit­u­a­tions beyond anyone’s con­trol. The indi­vid­ual bat­tles against the powers-that-be (be they gov­ern­ment, Kismet, G-d or just chance) is lost from the begin­ning and even if you’d won – it still wouldn’t make a difference.

    I found the rela­tion­ship of the pro­tag­o­nist and his fam­ily to be the most fas­ci­nat­ing. In a short time he goes from being the hum­ble bread­win­ner to a persona-non-grata. Even though his fam­ily looks down on him, Gre­gor still works at a job he doesn’t like sim­ply because oth­ers are more impor­tant to him then him­self. Gre­gor doesn’t have a “life”, sim­ply goes to work, hands over his money to help his debt rid­den fam­ily and thinks that this is the way things are.

    Gre­gor seems to be the per­son every­one kicks around, his fam­ily is lazy, at his work he is humil­i­ated and even though never miss­ing a day of work he con­stantly feels as if he’ll get fired and now he is turned to a bug.

    I did not expect this short story to be so deep, there are many themes con­de­scend in a short space and between the lines. I would highly rec­om­mend this novella to any­one who likes to think into the deeper mean­ing of what is not writ­ten rather than a straight out narrative.

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  • Posted May 14, 2012

    This was a really weird book.Is Gregor really a beetle? or Is hi

    This was a really weird book.Is Gregor really a beetle? or Is his metamorphosis metaphorical?

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  • Posted January 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining

    I absolutely LOVE the original story. I have to admit, this version is a LOT easier to read. It was fun to see this illustrated for sure!

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  • Posted November 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    ****Great Book! Highly recommended ***

    Franz Kafka uses brilliant symbolism, hilarious tone, and unique characterizations to exemplify the plight and transformation of this unfortunate salesman and it is through these tools that Kafka creates an absurd experience that any reader can relate to. The symbolism throughout this story is for the reader to understand and appreciate Gregor's view towards independence. Gregor was changed over night into a gaint insect, but Kafka uses this change as a symbol for Gregor's metamorphosis towards humanity. Before Gregor's transformation, he only lived life to serve others, but through his metamorphosis Gregor slowly comes to meet his own desires, seeking a more personal independence and even coming to appreciate music and art more.I found this book extremely entertaining. I would recommend it to anyone who likes suspense and drama.In order to see life as it really is, is to see that life is not worth living without people who love you and whom you can love.

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  • Posted October 18, 2010

    recommended

    "The Metamorphosis" is a story of unconditional love from the breadwinner of a family towards his family. It shows. how sometimes, closest relative even parents turn their back on when any misfortune happens in a family. It is a sad story and has very touchy subject. everyone should check it out in order to know the realities of life closely...

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    Great Story!

    This is a touching, sad, and disturbing story of a boy who wakes up and has transformed into a cockroach. It's about how his family reacts to his transformation and what Gregor must do to get through this creepy state. The book The Metamorphosis is captivating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2010

    MUST READ!!

    I'm not much of a reader, but I cant honestly enjoyed the book. Kafka really made me feel bad for Gregor, the main character. Metamorphosis is a story about a man who one day wakes up and is a roach! and how his family treats him. It's a very interesting story, kept me tuning the page even though I'm not much of a reader. Makes you rethink your life, change something for the better.

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    One of the amazing and interesting story

    I read this book in my English 1B class and I found out that it includes many different kind of symbolization to describe life.
    Moreover, this book points out how people change, including family, when they face difficult situation. Somehow I feel this is a pretty sad story. The main character work so hard for his family,but he did not get any supports from his parents and sister. At the end of the story, the author writes something about the sister, who has a beauty figure. A very huge comparison between the main character and his sister.

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    Its a good book to read, but different! thumbs up!

    Metamorphosis was written by Franz Kafka! I personally think it was a good book, i found it interesting how the author used a working family mans everyday functions, and turned him into a insect over time! The main character was a guy name Gregor! Once i began to read the story it began to be very long and dragged out, and i thought this author has a lot of times on his hands and obviously liked to write! As i read on it caught my attention to read on! In the end it (bugged) me in the way that time can literally (fly) by if u keep your head down and bot make time for yourself!

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    It's an alright book..

    Im not much of a fictional reader but this story was a little interesting.The main character Gregory wakes up one day and suddenly he realizes that he has turned into a roach. Gegory is a successful sales man & once he woke up like this he was scared at what was to come going to work as an insect.His family had a hard time accepting the fact that he looked different and not normal. The sister tried to put things aside and act like he looked normal. I thought it was pretty funny how all of a sudden he turned into this insect. All in all, it was an okay story but I personally wouldnt read it again.

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    Something different to digest

    Gregor, a typical young salesman wakes up one morning to find out that he is transforming into a disgusting and disturbing cockroach. Many would see it that way but Gregor is not disturbed one bit, the only thing that is disturbing, is that he's missing his day at work. The Metamorphosis brings a new twist to what most people would call fantasy. Gregor, being a giant insect, disturbs everyone around him but himself. This short story shows that unconditional love doesn't always apply, especially for this family. This story makes people think of how far a family is willing to go for a loved one, even in the most bizarre situations. Metamorphosis is an interesting short story that people should really consider reading.

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    Intentional Story !

    After finished 3/5 of the story, in my opinion, people would receive what they gave - some sort of karma.
    He had struggled to worked hard in order pay off his parents' debts, yet he did not receive any kind of real true love from them- his family.

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    Recommended (interesting short story)

    A man wakes up one day to find he has been changed into a large insect. The story follows his efforts to deal with this, and his family's reaction to the change. But it's not just a story about a man turning into a cockroach, it's a clever way of writing about how a family would deal with the main breadwinner in the house becoming unable to work, and also on a wider scope, the way a family reacts to someone who is disabled, or terminally ill. It could also be an analogy for how a family treats a member of the family who is now old and needs to be cared for. The man who is now a cockroach, is forced to live in his room, shut away from the world, for fear that he will frighten anyone who enters the house. The man who once provided for the family, and thought of them above himself, has now become a burden on them, as they are now short of money, and have to find employment. The once able and hard-working man, transformed into a cockroach, is now rejected, and his family blames him for their financial situation and the fact that they cannot move to a smaller house, because they need to have a room to keep him in.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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