Updated: Mar 4
I heard somewhere that The Metamorphosis is a gem of German literature and should be read by anyone who has an interest in the same.
It piqued my interest and without wasting any time, I bought my copy of this exceptional piece of literature.
After reading all the 55 pages (Yes, only 55) I assume that I'm able to explain what I have understood.
This book tells the story of a young traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa who somehow gets turned into a giant insect when he wakes up that morning.
And from here it describes the physical and mental torment, Gregor and his family had to go through, in such a way which is both tragic and humorous.
While reading this sometimes I used to think and empathize with Gregor and his family and at the very next moment, I'd laugh.
This exquisite work of Franz Kafka has a deeper meaning than a human turned insect story could have.
Although the time and place of the events are unknown. While reading this it feels like the story has been set somewhere in the early 20th century. The publishing year is also 1915.
This was the dark time of the first world war, and it seems like some darkness is still there in the literature of that time. Something that can not be copied which makes this work unique in itself.
Industrialization was also there. Many great works of literature have been written in that period exploring the social & behavioral problems prevailing in that era.
Anyway, after his Metamorphosis, Gregor deals with the alienation, immobility, lack of freedom and the thought of him being a misfit.
Kafka has beautifully portrayed the man cum machine culture common in those times.
First few pages are dedicated to the absurd reaction of Gregor when he realizes that he's late to catch the train, the manager is going to come and he might lose his job which is of more importance to him than his present condition.
The fear of losing his job is so deeply rooted in his mind that he doesn't think even once that how he turned into an insect, a vermin, a dung beetle or whatever you call it as Mr. Kafka has kept it a secret.
This mechanical behavior can also be seen through Gregor's father Mr. Samsa when he takes up a job and becomes obsessed with it. He's so attached to his uniform that he never wants to put it aside, he wears it even when he's inside the house. Always ready to work.
The image of an unemployed man has also been communicated through this novella. This can be seen clearly that how do the people treat an unemployed man who can not provide for his family and how ill-fated such a family is in the eyes of society.
In the present time, the things have changed but still, the majority of the middle & working-class population is a living example of the protagonist.
People are living just like Gregor(Insect) with an everlasting want of expressing themselves which results in nothing but a mumbled voice that no one can understand.
They're trying hard to maintain their income to support their lifestyle as well as their family.
People want to have such lifestyle so that they don't feel alienated & unfit.
Health, well being and human relations have become a thing of past & all this chaos has turned them into some kind of despicable insect.
Gregor didn't care for this.
But I believe that you do.
Won't you do anything to reverse the metamorphosis?