The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis
Photo by Lilly Rum / Unsplash

Genre: Fiction

Author: Franz Kafka

I listened to "The Metamorphosis" audiobook based on a book recommendation from someone in my book club. At one point, we had a tradition of offering club members a couple of book options for voting. So, a fellow member presented the group with several choices. The group opted for a lengthy one, but I was intrigued to discover that Franz Kafka's book was just a two-hour audiobook. Instead of diving into the popular choice, I started and finished "The Metamorphosis" in one sitting. It was a short, yet interesting book! To give you a context, I believe the book is no more than 70 pages long. Don’t ask me about another book the group chose, not only me, but most of the members did not finish it either. It was really LONG! Lol…

Coming back to “The Metamorphosis”, this is the story of a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa. One morning, he wakes up and finds himself transformed into an insect. Initially, he thinks it's a bad dream but soon he realizes that his body has indeed changed into this grotesque form. Gregor is the sole provider for his family. As his parents and sister come to terms with the loss of their main source of income, his sister takes pity on him and brings him food daily. However, the family's attitude towards Gregor gradually shifts to resentment for the burden he has become. His father even injures him severely for frightening his mother at one point. Once reliant on Gregor for everything, each family member seeks ways to support themselves. Trapped in his insect form, Gregor becomes nothing more than a pain and a financial drain on the family. He eventually succumbs to his condition, and upon his death, the family experiences a profound sense of liberation. They express gratitude for their newfound freedom and celebrate by spending the day strolling.

While this book is undeniably tragic, it also portrays the reality of life. It exposes the harsh truth of being abandoned by one's own family when one can no longer fulfill their role as a provider. When Gregor was the breadwinner, his family relied solely on him, with no one else needing to work. However, as soon as it became apparent that Gregor could no longer support them, every member of the family quickly adapted and found alternative means of income. Gregor ceased to be of value in the family's eyes once he could no longer fulfill his role as provider. It's definitely disheartening and sad to witness a family dynamic where love and care are contingent upon one's ability to provide, and where individuals are discarded when they can no longer meet those expectations. Gregor's death is a tragic reminder of these harsh realities.

Overall, “The Metamorphosis” depicts the changing nature of human emotions, relationships, and adaptability. That’s what I got from listening to this book. I am interested to know if you have different thoughts than mine.

It is a short read, but definitely not a sweet one. If you haven't read or listened to it yet, hopefully, this summary will help you make up your mind. One of my good friends said it was one of the saddest books she had ever read, and I didn't argue with her about it. I'm just putting it out there so that you have some context before reading if you haven't already.

(By the way, it’s been a year since I launched this blog. And if you have been with me since my early days, thank you, thank you so much! Don’t forget to give me your honest feedback about my writing. I’d love to incorporate your feedback to improve my writing in the days to come. Thanks for all your support!) 😊

See you in the next blog post!