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“The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka

“The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka

One of the school classics par excellence is “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka.

General short description

“When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.” One of the most famous introductions in literary history. Franz Kafka's story tells of Gregor Samsa, who one morning wakes up no longer as a human being, but as an ugly 'vermin'. Kafka's 'Metamorphosis' is the grotesque parable of a silent revolt against inhumanity. In animal form, Gregor Samsa holds up a mirror to the world. A silent cry of protest that remains powerless in the end, but to this day one of the most exciting works of world literature.

My opinion

First of all, I have to admit that Kafka was one of the most hated authors of my entire school years. Reason enough to revisit his most famous work a few years later. Back then, as a pubescent teenager, I found “The Metamorphosis” to be very silly. When I looked at my German teacher's happy ass face when we read some passages out loud, I always asked myself who I would be more likely to have sent to prison. Kafka or her? Well, both. Padded cell. The essay at the time about “The Metamorphosis” resulted in a 4 with the following reason: My interpretation would have been too far-fetched. Funny, I thought there was so much room for interpretation with Kafka? Apparently not for me. I had probably made a mistake a few school lessons earlier when I simply said “The Book” instead of “The Parable” or “The Story”. Then Ms. *************'s paw (many greetings at this point) flew onto the teacher's desk with the words: “Benjamin, it's not a book!”. It's clear! Then we continued and we were supposed to “open the page that has 37 as the page number”. There, each “but” and “however” was further examined for its psychological meaning in a global context.
Today, around 10 years later, I have overcome my Kafkaesque school trauma and dared to read this “book” (oops…) a second time. With astonishing results: I still find it just as exaggerated and far-fetched as before. It's a shame, because I now also like to eat spinach and vegetables and so I was hoping that I would also enjoy Kafka's “Metamorphosis”.

Still, it's polarizing and I'd suggest you just form your own opinion! Click here for the free audio book “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka!

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