What the fuck was this book about?I didnt understand shit.Did gregor actually die or did he return to being human again?Why has he turned into bug in the first place?Overall, what was this book telling?
What the book was about is open to interpretation and everyone can have an opinion on it, like with most literature. There's not correct answer. That's the good thing about books, make you think.
One perspective that I enjoy is that it's a critic on the way society treats the mentally ill and how those illnesses affect the person itself.
What I loved about it was the feeling of absurdity and helplessness, that such a terrible thing happens to a decent guy that tried to help his family, on top of all his weariness from work, and how it makes his family go against him and terminates his life. It's a nightmare.
>Was he guilty of anything but loving and providing for his family?
No, and yet they treated him like shit for turning into an insect/roach, which he had no hand in. What does that tell you about unconditional love and support?
What would happen if a purple elephant appeared from nothing? The answer is unknown, because were that to happen, the laws of that universe would necessarily be different. Turning into a bug is the same phenomenon, and the dilemma of it is represented in Gregor; his being is a loophole out of which order, civilisation, sanity leak, and which, for the sake of those things, must be stoppered. Their universe, nothing they know, can work so long as Gregor's possibility exists, so long as they're forced by his continued presence to acknowledge it. His possibility does continue after his death, but no longer visibly so. The ontology he represents is again safely veiled outside their epistemology. They can again cultivate their gardens with the confidence that water makes plants grow, work brings men profit, right-action earns God's favour, etc.
If you want to read totalitarian themes into it, it's totalitarian subjects being shown the secret of their oppression, and then killing the one who showed them, so they can forget.
It includes homosexuality, it's about anything that you don't have a say in it.
Including if someone found out that you have a sexual attraction to little girls, even if you never touched one.
Here's something interesting about the timing of posting about this book:
This Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday in many churches. 'Transfiguration' (and its verbal form) come from the same Greek word as does 'metamorphosis' (in fact 'metamorphosis' is the exact word). Just FYI for people.
Can't you imagine Kafka reading this shit to his friends, laughing his ass off while putting on some kind of accent?
Reading the ending, how the old jew is trying to marry her daughter to make some shekels
As >>7659678 said, the book is vastly open to interpretation. In my opinion, the book was about mourning. Gregor didn't turn into an insect, he died. His family couldn't get their shit together until they overcame their grief.
He works his ass off to support his family. Then once he turns into the insect they completely forget about this and just treat him like shit for turning into a bug. At the end they celebrate after he dies, like he was the source of their problems all along despite him initially being the only thing keeping the family afloat.
It's about anomie: how one man tries to continue living a "normal" life even as he becomes increasingly alienated from his world.
This is why Kafka is one of the most important writers of the 20th century: because he reflects the same alienation we all feel in modern society, of striving to be "normal" even as our circumstances become exceedingly extraordinary.
>>7659667First, there isn't any metamorphosis in the book. Die Verwandlung means The change.
So, it is the story of a guy who one day wake up like a big bug.
The family is worried and they don't what to do and do nothing.
The guy is an insect until he died and at the end nobody cares.
That is it. It means nothing. Or everything.
I dunno, I'm no historian, so I don't really know any of socio-political factors during the time in which the Metamorphosis was written, so I'm just going with a more universal theme:
I thought it was about burden. To sum it up in one word, that is. It could be the burden of a grown man who has not married and lives with his family. I don't know much about German (or Czech?) culture, so I'm not sure if this a huge family issue. But the ideas of imposition and burdening were emphasised in my opinion.
Or maybe it was about depression, even grief, or anything holding a family or entity from progression.
Proof I see of this interpretation is the final scene, where Gregor Samsa's sister "stretches her young body." Clearly from this line the family is "moving on" from something that was holding them back.
I find the end scene to be similar to the Grapes of Wrath, where
Rosasharn is getting her titty sucked by a starving man, and she runs her fingers through his hair and "smiles mysteriously". Of course, I still never figured out the significance of that. But I feel like the Metamorphosis was much less (for lack of a better word) pseudo-sexual.
Sorry if any of that made no sense.
>But I feel like the Metamorphosis was much less (for lack of a better word) pseudo-sexual.
Kafka was obsessed with sex so don't count on it.
They're worried because he's not able to work and support them, not out of concern for him. They do care when he dies. Though by care I mean they're happy that he's dead.
It's about alienation. The turning into a bug was played straight in the book, but it was just an absurdist way to examine the burden a sick person places on their dependents, even those who theoretically ought to care about them. The main chr. goes from prized bead winner to an embarrassing, disgusting invalid. In the end he dies, and his family is relieved at no longer having to tolerate the burden. Tis not a very happy story.
>not a very happy story
This is what made Kafka unique as opposed to western literary traditions, where it's happily ever after. I think pessimistic works were more of an eastern-European/Russian tradition, so I think Kafka was inspired a lot by that. Actually, I used to think Kafka was Russian when I was younger, just based on how morose his stuff was.
That's an interesting idea, that Kafka was inspired by the Russians. True or not, I love the morose approach and I didn't mean that it isn't worth reading because it is sad. My favorite fiction is the pessimistic Russian stuff.
Yes OP, he goes back to being human and he ends up marrying his sister so that they can finally share his room so that the parents can keep renting one of the other rooms. This way everybody's happy. He even gets his old job back and the only aftereffects are a slight allergy to insecticides and an ovipositor for a penis.
>What does this supposed to mean?
Do you just expect a straightforward answer to a question that has baffled critics for centuries? Even Bloom, who proposed the interpretation quoted here >>7666575
is not so sure anymore. Recently he had a fit of apoplexy over this and I've heard he's on life support, hence the conflicting rumours about his death.