This isn’t the first Kafka I’ve read. I read Amerika way back in 2011 and my opinion is pretty much the same: the man is a bit weird but he writes well.
I can, with utter confidence, say I have no idea what in the hell I just read. I mean, I know exactly what the words said and can tell you the story pretty much verbatim, but as to the meaning behind it, I haven’t got a clue. (Don’t worry, I’m going to look it up in a minute and see if it in anyway makes sense to me.)
I honestly thought it was some sort about sickness and loss of health, but no one seems to agree on that. There was a lot of talk about dependence and the family needing to learn how to care for themselves and that his metamorphosis resulted in the family being more productive and less lazy. Honestly, I don’t really know.
While looking for an explanation I think my favorite was reading this forum with the question title of “What the hell is Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” supposed to represent?” because that was my thoughts exactly. I liked this one the best.
I will say Kafka has talent as a writer, as at the end of the story I was sad. It was hard to feel sad because of what Gregor became, but I couldn’t help but empathize with his experience and the isolation and alienation.
Recommendation: If you’ve got an hour and want to read it, might as well. Like I said it’s very well written, just a bit odd.
Opening Line: “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.”
Closing Line: “And it was something of a confirmation of their new dreams and good intentions when at the end of their journey their daughter got up first and stretched her young body.” (Whited out, highlight to read.)
Additional Quote from The Metamorphosis
“At the same moment, however, he didn’t forget to remind himself from time to time of the fact that calm—indeed the calmest—reflection might be better than the most confused decisions.” (5)