Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis

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The Metamorphosis is a novella by German author Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It is one of Kafka's greatest works, both dark and accessible at the same time.
The protagonist, Gregor Samsa, wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into a "monstrous vermin". He initially considers the transformation to be temporary and slowly ponders the consequences of this metamorphosis. Unable to get up and leave the bed, Gregor reflects on his job as a traveling salesman and cloth merchant, which he characterizes as exhausting and never-ending drudgery. He sees his employer as a despot and would quickly quit his job were he not his family's sole breadwinner and working off his bankrupt father's debts.
The book explores Kafka's predominate recurring themes of alienation, oppression, and 'otherness', which in this story, is more easily seen than felt. As a Jew in Germany, Kafka's feelings of being 'part of' and still 'apart from' society can be seen and explored


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