• Year Published: 1915.
  • Pages: 201.

Summary of The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis is one of the cornerstones of fictional writing done in 1915 by Franz Kafka, an Austro-Hungarian novelist. The novelist introduces the book with the story of Gregor Samsa a traveling salesman who hates his job. One fateful day he awakes only to discover that he has transformed into a monstrous insect. By this time, he is already late for work and as he sits in his room, he ponders about the ways of his boss who never accepts excuses for the lateness of work no matter how good the worker at his job. By this time, his mother is concerned about his wellbeing and so is his younger sister Grete and also his office manager since he has never missed work.

By this time, everyone is annoyed that Gregor is not opening his door and the clerk warns him about his work which he has been doing in an unsatisfactory manner. He finally manages to open the door and due to his appearance, his mother faints while the clerk takes to his heels. Gregor’s father returns him to his room with a cane and a newspaper. Gregor injures himself as he goes back to his room on the door but due to exhaustion, he simply goes back to bed to catch a nap.

In the second part of the novel, When Gregor awakens, he finds that his favorite food which is bread and milk has been placed next to his bed. When he tries to eat the food, he discovers that he has lost the taste for such food but when his sister puts decaying food close to him, he finds it tasty. This becomes the routine, but at all times, he hides afraid to scare her with his looks. While in his room, he overhears through the walls the financial difficulties that his family is going through since he can no longer provide for them. Gregor begins exploring his new body by crawling around the walls. His sister helps him by removing the furniture so that he can have enough space but these doesn’t make him happy. One day his mother visits him in his room and on seeing him faints. For the first time since he changed, his name is called out by his sister. Scared, he runs into the kitchen where he encounters his father who throws apples at him paralyzing and damaging him.

In the last part of the book, the cleaning lady leaves a space in which Gregor can crawl out. His sister is playing the Violin to some guests and the music soothes him due to his detachment. On spotting, him, the guests want to leave the house without paying claiming it is filthy. At this point, his sister who has grown weary of taking care of him proposes they throw him out or face ruin. They all agree and Gregor wanting to reduce the burden on them leaves and dies. On discovering his death, they are filled with relief and kick out the guests as well as the cleaning lady. They decide to move to a smaller house in order to save costs. During the trip to change homes, they discover that Grete has grown into a beautiful woman and they start thinking about finding her a husband.

The Metamorphosis Themes List

1. Alienation;
2. Transformation;
3. Society and class;
4. Identity;
5. Isolation;
6. Family;
7. Guilt;
8. The absurdity of life;
9. The disconnect between mind and body;
10. Morality and Ethics;

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