Books · Reviews

Book Review — Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Image courtesy of Goodreads.

Kafka’s Metamorphosis takes us through the transformation of Gregor Samsa into a vermin. Said to be resemblant of Kafka’s very own life and relations with his family, Gregor soon realizes that his parents and sister are no longer the affectionate, understanding people he knew. On the one hand, trying to cope with this alien body and on the other, trying to communicate with his reserved family, Gregor’s predicament increases by the day. Isolated and made to feel burdensome, his days are dreary and there doesn’t seem to be much hope. Metamorphosis could be symbolic of our inner demons, which when surface, test the bonds between friends and family.

As I’ve read and watched my fair share of books, movies and tv shows with the element of shape-shifting , I wasn’t as disturbed or irked by Gregor’s transformation. Rather, to me, it appeared to reflect his worth as perceived by his family. This transformation was sort of a curtain raiser – to reveal what his family actually felt about him. For had their love been unconditional, even such a form should not have daunted them. The writing is fairly simple enough and forms one continuous stream of thought wherein Gregor is narrating his plight. It elicits our sympathy because to us, Gregor is as much human as are his thoughts of loneliness and haplessness. There were times when I was infuriated by the actions of his family. Even though his sister does help him a tad bit, initially, she is a culprit for victimizing him too. The manner in which Gregor used to slog to provide a living for his family and the way in which they continue their lives after his transformation with their own jobs is astoundingly cruel. I liked the book, but did not love it because it is a little sad and disheartening. However, I would recommend it to all and I urge you to read it for it is metaphorical, and we each can gather something different out of it.

Ratings – 3 stars on 5

Meera

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