Short Story #9 -The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka can be found here http://www.kafka-online.info/the-metamorphosis.html

Just a warning this ‘short’ story exceeds 22,000 words, not really all that short after all. My excitement to read another story by Franz Kafka, is nearly balanced back out by the fact that it is a MASSIVE story. Nearly twice as long (I presume) than any of the others I have read!

But let’s begin. Well that is one way to start a story. What exactly has happened to him? What are these small white spots? He is paying off his parent’s debt to some man, who is now his boss, he sounds like a good son. Why were they in debt? Are they still alive? And, why is he a bug thing???????????

He usually wakes up at 4 o’clock in the morning, lots of people just go to bed at that time, he seriously has a bad job, but sometimes someone has to do the job. He hasn’t had a day off sick in 5 years!!! That is an applaud-able effort, what a trooper, still going to work even if he is sick, much better than some other people who stay home at the slightly hint of a cough. Has he forgotten he looks like a bug, or has he just accepted it.? It seems that he has just accepted it, and still wants to get out of bed and do something. What will happen when other people see him? He is still concerned about losing his job but for some reason not about being a bug thing. It would be quite easy if he just asked for help, but then people have to try and get in the room, when the doors are all locked (which may or may not be such a challenge). The manager himself is at their door, they must be quite close to come at such short notice. Now he is out of bed, is he still on his back? And I must laugh that the manager is called, Mr. Manager, but this guy’s (Mr. Samsa) father. “unimaginable pig headedness”yeah right, because he is totally being big headed when he physically can’t move very well, and can’t at all open the door and doesn’t want to expose himself to everyone, while he is some bug thing. Sometimes managers and bosses are evil, actually nearly everyone is. It is interesting that in a situation like this, no one who knew what actually was going on would insist on opening the door, but because no one knows what is going on they are eager to find out regardless of what is going on. And now he tried to cover up everything, but his voice sounded like an animal and a locksmith and doctor are being fetched.I wonder what is to come, when they open the door.

Maybe the silence is because he cannot hear human voices anymore! His ears now can only pick up the insect frequencies. Such an effort to open a door, it makes us think about how life would be like without arms and hands, or maybe feet and legs. But weird brown liquid came out of his mouth, was it blood like, or was it some acid thing? I wonder how many questions will be left unanswered. Imagine opening a door and finding your son (or anybody) like this, I wonder if they know it is him, or just some massive bug. Just a question, what does his father do if he can prolong breakfast for hours, does he not have a job and if not why not, if he owes this man money? Of course he feels better now, he is the right way up and can move again! Clearly everyone is afraid of this bug thing and do not realise or cannot realise that this is Mr Samsa.

He has been injured from the morning’s events and now has trouble eating food, which was placed in his room. Do they actually realise that it is him, or was it a sister hoping the food might entice her brother home? Maybe they are not making noise because they aren’t in the house any longer, fearing the strange creature. So now they have locked the door from the outside, if they had keys couldn’t they open the doors earlier, instead of having all that fuss! How big is he exactly? He can fit under the couch, so he must be quite flat or the couch has a lot of room underneath. His sister is a brave girl! So it seems that they do kinda think it is their son/brother, but have no idea what is going on, and neither do I! The girl is smart and brings a variety of foods to find out which one he likes!!! Bugs certainly heal quickly and are tough to kill!

Ah, he can actually understand human speech, will he ever turn back into a human, or will he remain this weird creature. The servant begged to leave their house, interesting. It’s nice that it is revealed that he has a life after, a rich one too, but one without love from his family, though his sister is still rather close and good with a violin. Interesting to reveal that he survives, but it doesn’t mention what state he is in, maybe he can earn lots of money by being in a freak show or something. His sister, if she is so good on violin, could busk in the streets and could get a couple of dollars here and there. His mother need not work, if she struggles so dearly with asthma. And I’m sure his father could actually do something, it need not be big, they need money and he is fit enough to do some work. Does this mean that he has terrible sight now and can’t see all that far away? He still has human emotions and desires even as a bug, and wants his sister to be protected from his sight, no matter what the physical expense (4 hours what an effort!)

It is nice to know that his parents are warming to his ‘situation’ and want news of any recovery and his mother even wants to visit him. HAHA, he is taking advantage of his new legs, and is walking up the walls and hanging from the ceiling like a true bug! They are moving all his furniture and I don’t think it is for the best, they are making his more bug and less human by the minute, and his mother has just fainted from the sight of him, how can this go on? Now he has escaped his room and fallen on the table. What chaos, fruit being thrown, everyone chasing around, how is this story going to end?

The mother and sister are truly heroic compared to the father, sure he has a job and is working hard, but he just doesn’t understand. They all are working hard trying to keep afloat during this mysterious, and unfortunate time, how they will ever survive is anyone’s guess. The old woman is the KEY (at least I think). She isn’t afraid of him one bit. And the family has even had to start renting out some of their rooms to try and get more money. What would happen if one of the lodgers were to look at him, disaster probably, and my guess is that will happen! Of course the men see him, but maybe it is good news? No, bad news, the men won’t even pay for the days they have stayed there for and consider taking action against them all! How long had they been there for, shouldn’t they have paid some money, but I guess the family were inexperienced in these matters. Things are not looking good, they are trying to get rid of him, they are all spent. He is dying, is he not. He is getting weaker, maybe his death means he will become a man again? Hold on, didn’t the lodgers want to leave? The cleaning lady seemed very strange in the end. And the family is happy in the end and are able to move on and live life again.

But woah, that was an effort and a half finishing that story and writing a review! It is an interesting tale, and quite odd. We have no idea why he became this thing, and it confuses me to what happened to him in the end, because he talked of the future and what would happen. It was certainly a long tale and I am sure is worthy of high regard and subject to many analyses. It is one that people should read if they have a couple of hours to spare, and didn’t really disappoint, its length just made for heavy reading.

The FINAL short story (in the ‘top’ 10) is Nathaniel Hawthorne’s  The Birthmark

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