The Metamorphosis (1915)

One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.

(The Metamorphosis: p.1)

Franz Kafka, man behind this book, started his imagination with these very words. He played well with the readers imagination, where he leaved us with clues of Gregor Samsa’s transformation.

He lay on his armour-like back, and if lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and dived by arches into stiff sections.

His many legs, pitifully thin compared to the size of the rest of him,…

…”Did you hear the way Gregor spoke just now? That was the voice of an animal.”

He pushed himself over to the door, feeling his way clumsily with his antennae – of which he was now beginning to learn the value – in order to see what had been happening there.

kafka-the-metamorphosisWell, I imagined Gregor Samsa transformed into a big lice or cockroaches or even sometimes I imagined a new kind of insects. Apart of all, Kafka didn’t want to focus on how the transformation began, why did it happen or else. Here, he wanted to say something in the extreme ways as “How if I became a creepy-creature?”. Where “creepy” may have extensive meaning, Kafka brought it as an animal.

Gregor Samsa was a hardworking-man and one of the main-backbone of his family. He was a traveling salesman who is very committed towards his job. In the story, what passed in his mind on the first time when he woke up is about his job. But then the story goes on where he actually can’t work anymore with those transformation.

The changing of his family attitude’s towards his metamorphosis also quite intriguing. Well, who will accept freely a sudden change from one of family member to be a huge insect? Before it happened, his family is quite a small-happy fam where he has one younger sister named Gretta and parents. After his metamorphosis, Gretta is the first one who brave enough to enter his room, gave him food, cleaned out the garbage and anything. And along the day, Gregor was just crawling inside his room. The warmest of his family is slowly dissolved. As he was locked up in his room and just several times peeking up through small crack in his room to see what happened outside.

With his metamorphosis, he couldn’t able to go to work. None can help his fam’s economy condition. Because of that, his parents rented their rooms over three men. These three man didn’t know that Gregor in his creature lived along with them. Until someday, Gregor was caught inside of his room where he wanted to see his sister whom played violin infront of these three men. Because of these incident, then …

Well, many readers of this book said different meanings and different value. In my opinion, here Kafka wanted to show us how that changing in ourselves may caused a big effect in your family (esp. if you are transforming into a cockroach). Whereby, Samsa’s family can’t stand with this transformation, where they can’t accept the harsh reality. How about your family? If you are the golden kid and the biggest hope of your family, suddenly something bad happened to you, will your family do the same as Samsa’s? Or do they will oppositely support you? None can predict it. Except if you already metamorphosed to be Gregor.


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