HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Loading...

The Metamorphosis (1915)

by Franz Kafka

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,88786710 (3.91)143
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 143 mentions

English (64)  Spanish (9)  Dutch (6)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (86)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
When Gregor Samsa woke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous insect.

This is one of the most famous opening lines in literature, and the general concept of The Metamorphosis, which hovers on the borderline of being a short story or a novella, is one of literature’s most famous and fascinating stories. No explanation is given for Gregor Samsa’s terrible fate; he and his family must simply endure it. Almost the entire novella takes place within the Samsa family’s apartment, and over a mere 61 pages Kafka develops an overwhelming sense of claustrophobia, alienation and sheer misery at the unjustness of the world.

This is a book many students are forced to read in high school, probably because of its short length, like The Great Gatsby, with no consideration for the fact that high school students probably aren’t yet equipped to appreciate the themes it explores (again like The Great Gatsby). There are dozens if not hundreds of scholarly interpretations as to what The Metamorphosis is allegorising; mental illness and depression are popular ideas. If I had to throw my hat into the ring I’d suggest it’s about the struggles of adulthood, the sometimes crushing sense of responsibility, the loss of innocence; much is made of the fact that Gregor, in his early twenties, has been working as a salesman to support his recently impoverished family, and following his transformation his inability to work and provide for them leaves him with a terrible sense of guilt. On the very morning of the metamorphosis the head clerk arrives from his office, demanding to know why he has not turned up for work, and it’s almost a scene of black comedy as Gregor attempts to leave the bed and open the door, to reassure his superior that he is fit and able and enthusiastic. The fact that he has turned into a monster is of secondary concern to his job security.

This particular edition has a couple of Kafka’s other short stories at the back, presumably because the publisher wanted to pad the length out. None of them struck me as particularly memorable. The Metamorphosis, on the other hand, deserves its status as a literary classic – an enduring symbol of alienation in human society. ( )
1 vote edgeworth | Oct 10, 2014 |
I read this story in high school. Reading this was an important ah-ha moment for me. It was the first time that I realized fiction didn't have to be more or less realistic, that it could explore the strange and weird as if it were possible, or even more real than what we assume is reality. ( )
  sturlington | Sep 18, 2014 |
My English class finished reading this novella fairly recently, and I couldn't make much sense of the story in the first part (the novella is divided into three). As I continued reading The Metamorphosis, I got to liking it, and it made more sense. Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning and realizes he's turned into a "monstrous verminous bug". Gregor lived a perfectly normal life before then. He worked as a traveling salesman and was the chief financial provider for his family since his father stopped working after a massive humiliation that Kafka doesn't delve into. Of course his whole life changes since he's now a bug. For the most part, everyone in Gregor's family is either repulsed, angered, or alarmed by his new appearance. In spite of his physical transformation from a human into an insect, Gregor psychologically remains human, which is what I think, the point of the book. The Metamorphosis is a thought-provoking read that really makes the reader question what it truly means to be human. I would recommend this novella for anyone in tenth grade or higher since although the length is anything but daunting, the story itself is quite abstract and requires higher thinking to truly appreciate it. ( )
1 vote literarybuff | May 25, 2014 |
I wish I hadn't. ( )
  mkboylan | Apr 21, 2014 |
One of the most famous opening lines in literature: "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect."

Well, this will certainly be a day unlike all others.

A classic work of expressionism. A metaphor for what happens to an individual when he lives a life he loathes, for extreme alienation and rebellion. What the reader brings to the text will inform his or her interpretation, and that makes the work all the more extraordinary. ( )
  Laurenbdavis | Apr 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (140 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kafka, Franzprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Appelbaum, StanleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baioni, GiulianoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bernofsky, SusanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corngold, StanleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graftdijk, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hauptmann, TatjanaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hofmann, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoover, Marjorie L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnston, IanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, EdwinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, WillaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nervi, MauroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neugroschel, JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rho, AnitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toorn, Willem vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyllie, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Has the adaptation

Is parodied in

Inspired

Has as a student's study guide

Has as a teacher's guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug.
When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141023457, Paperback)

Waking after a night of troubled dreams, Gregor is surprised to find himself trapped in the body of a hideous man-sized bug. As he lies on his shell and gazes into space, his mother and father begin calling to him from outside his bedroom door. He must get out of bed, they tell him. He has to go to work. They need his money to live. Gregor replies to them nervously, his voice sounding strange to his ears. He'll be out very soon, he says. He's just getting ready! But he can't keep saying that forever.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:52 -0400)

A novel about a man who finds himself transformed into a huge insect, and the effects of this change upon his life.

» see all 9 descriptions

Legacy Library: Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Franz Kafka's legacy profile.

See Franz Kafka's author page.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.91)
0.5 7
1 20
1.5 7
2 79
2.5 22
3 322
3.5 87
4 550
4.5 95
5 467

Audible.com

Nine editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 93,319,323 books! | Top bar: Always visible