Episode 55, Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis (Part I - The Life of Kafka)


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Published in 1915, Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is a gruelling and ironic depiction of the pressures imposed by family and profession in the Twentieth Century. The novella centres around traveling salesman Gregor Samsa who, one morning, finds himself transformed into an insect. What follows, depending on the interpretation, is a reflection of how modern life provides a misunderstanding of predicament and a lack of empathy towards those who have been beaten down by an unforgiving capitalist system.

Equally, The Metamorphosis asks questions of Gregor himself. Over time he has continued to disregard his own well-being and autonomy, seeing himself as the saviour of his family’s debts. Yet, by doing so, he has missed the fact that his family appear to resent the house he has chosen to rent, or that their debts are not quite as bad as they seemed. He has taken a cross which he need not have beared.

In the words of Vladimir Nabokov, “In The Metamorphosis, contract and unity, style and matter, manner and plot are most perfectly integrated”.


Part I. The Life of Franz Kafka.

Part II. The Plot.

Part III. The Meaning.

Part IV. Further Analysis and Discussion.

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