The Metamorphosis

Franz Kafka

BACKGROUND

Franz Kafka is a German/Jewish dude. He wrote this story in 1912. A lot of his stories are about isolation and how man gets sad and alone. This is a really weird story about how some guy gets turned into a bug. There is a lot of symbolism (he gets turned into a bug as a punishment of sorts). This is NOT a straightforward story.

MAIN CHARACTERS

Gregor Samsa: He is the main dude of the story. He is the guy that

gets turned into a big ass bug.

Grete: She is Gregorís sister.

PLOT

This story is about a guy named Gregor who has a really crappy life. His family treats him like shit and he has a bad job. They live in a big lodge and own it. People come in and stay with them (like a bed and breakfast type hotel). One day he wakes up and he finds that he has turned into an insect. Then he worries because he will be late for work. His mom knocks on the door and tells him he is going to be late. Gregor tries to get out of bed, but cannot. Then one of Gregorís bosses comes to his house to see whatís wrong. Gregorís dad and mom try to get him out of his room, but Gregor doesnít move. The boss tries to talk to him but Gregor tries to avoid the conversation (he doesnít want them to find out he has turned into a bug).

Then Gregor finally comes out of his room. Everyone (mom, dad, and boss) is shocked and disgusted. Gregor did not want his boss to leave disgusted, but he left anyway. Gregorís dad gets mad that his boss left and takes a stick and hits Gregor to get him back in his room (Because Gregor is a freak).

Then Gregor sleeps for a while. His sister comes in and brings him food. Then the family locks Gregor in his room. He is completely shutout from the outside world. He overhears his family talking though. He finds out that his father is a rich dude (this sucks because Gregor has been slaving for years at his job to support the whole family). We learn that the family is lazy and just relied on Gregor to make money.

Gregorís mom wants to see him. He doesnít want her to because heís a dirty freak. But she comes in anyway, and he hides under a sheet. Then the family takes all of the furniture out of Gregorís room so he has more space to crawl around. They lock him in the room, but Gregor breaks out. Gregorís father then comes home and is pissed that Gregor came out. So he starts throwing apples at Gregor. One apple sticks to his back. The mother is sad because he is hurt. Gregor goes back into his room and is injured. Now that Gregor is injured, the family stops taking care of him and they just kinda let him rot. Gregorís sister even stops coming in his room (even though she was the nicest person to Gregor).

Then one night the sister plays violin. Gregor likes the music and listens. The people staying in the lodge notice Gregor and are kinda shocked. Gregor comes out of his room because he is so attracted by the beautiful violin music. Gregorís father is embarrassed that the lodgers saw this disgusting bug. Gregorís family decides they have to get rid of this disgusting bug. So they lock him in his room and starve him. Then Gregor dies. The family is kinda sad. They make all the lodgers leave. Then they spend some time with the dead Gregor, and mourn him a bit. They are all tired so the family goes out for a walk. In the end they move to another apartment.

THINGS TO MAKE YOU LOOK SMART

  • Many people say that Gregor actually symbolizes Kafka, and that this story is kinda autobiographical.
  • No, Kafka did not turn into a bug, but he did feel isolated and had trouble with his family. He especially had trouble with hid dad, just like Gregor did in the story.
  • The "Metamorphosis" can be seen as Gregor's change into a bug OR can be seen as the change the family goes through.
  • When he turns into a bug, their life gets better. The father becomes more active (because they don't rely on Gregor to support them anymore.
  • Nobody in the story really takes Gregor seriously, even though he has turned into a bug.
  • Gregor is a big martyr. His life sucks, his family treats him like shit and he works like a dog to support people who hate him.
  • There are 3 main parts to this story. The part where he deals with his shitty job, the part where he deals with his shitty family and the end, where he dies and finally is a free man. (When he dies he is free from all his problems: work, family, stress, etc)