“The Metamorphosis” Book Review

Emily Na, Staff Writer

In The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka depicts the changing life of a man who has transformed into a large insect. Gregor Samsa wakes up in the morning to find out that he has turned into a giant cockroach. Gregor’s main concern with this situation, however, is how he will be able to get to his job and work from then on. As he is no longer the family’s breadwinner, Gregor becomes physically and emotionally isolated from others as he stays exclusively in his room. While his sister Grete had originally attempted to care for him and clean his room, she too later abandons him as the family’s lives begin to adjust without Gregor involved. Kafka reveals what later happens to Gregor, and how his own physical and mental changes become linked to the family’s change as a whole.

As a whole, this book is very bizarre. I originally did not know what to think about it when I first read it. However, given the plot, it was not as bad as I expected to be. Through Gregor’s transformation, Kafka reveals the character’s original feelings of alienation that later become physically apparent when he becomes an insect. Although the family’s initial reactions to Gregor are confusing and somewhat neglectful, it reveals how Gregor had only been a family member by blood and that they otherwise had limited emotional ties with him. After discovering these things about the book, I found the concept to be intriguing in its own way, although it was definitely not an enjoyable read. I would not recommend this book to others.