Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague. He was considered an outsider as a Jew and was never fully accepted in his society. He accepted Judaism and hoped to visit Palestine one day but some of his beliefs lay elsewhere. He had this tendency to blame himself and liked to rebel against authority. His dad was an authoritative figure and had a much better physique. Therefore, throughout his life, Franz felt inferior. To his dad, writing was also a waste of time. Franz pursued law as a career and worked in an accident insurance office. Most of his writings were done in the evenings. Later on, he grew to like Felice Bauer and got engaged to her. In 1914, Franz completed ‘The Trial’. Shortly after, Franz terminated his relationship with Felice and was diagnosed with TB. In 1919, he wrote ‘Latter to his Father’, detailing the impetus behind his works. In 1922, Franz published ‘The Castle’. He had a relationship with a lady named Dora Dymant shortly before his death in 1924. Many of his works were not unpublished in his lifetime. He ordered his friend, Max Brod, to burn his works after he passed away. However, thankfully, it was his friend who published them.

Gregor Samsa woke up one day and found himself transformed into a horrible vermin. He had an armour like, brown body. It wasn’t a dream at all. The contents in his room were the same. He realized that he couldn’t sleep it off as he usually would. Samsa had a day job as a travelling salesman. His outer body felt cold when it was in contact with something. He thought about wanting to tell his boss how much he hated this rubbish job. The plan was to quit after 5 or 6 years once he had enough savings. He was running late for work and was afraid of being blasted at work by the boss. His mum started knocking at his door now. Instinctively, Gregor realized that his voice was squeakier now. Soon after, his dad came knocking on the door. They demanded him to open the door. He soon realized that it was very difficult to get out of bed and control his lower body. His legs were also out of control most of the time. Staying in bed yielded nothing and Samsa tried desperately to get out. He tried to remain calm as he made better decisions in that situation. Now, he attempted to swing his entire body out of bed. Now, he thought to himself, it would be so much easier if he could get help. On the other hand, the doors were locked. The chief clerk came to pay him a visit. It was very mean and suspicious of the clerk to visit him. It said a lot about the toxic culture of the company. He fell onto the ground now. His mum explained that he wasn’t feeling well. This explained his absence from the morning train. The chief clerk was not apologetic and wanted him to overcome his illness and proceed to work. His sister, in the other room, started crying. The chief clerk demanded an explanation on why he would not go out. He commented that Samsa’s sales turnover had not been good lately and his job was not secure. Samsa spoke up and admitted that he would be at work later and not to give his parents a hard time. After much effort, Samsa managed to stay upright despite his lower body hurting much. Mother immediately called for a doctor as she detected a change in his voice. His parents called for the locksmith as well. Samsa was happy and confident that the rest detected something was wrong. Now, he was at the door and used his jaw to grab the key. Finally, he managed to open the door. His parents cried and covered their mouths in utter shock once seeing him. He wanted the chief clerk to be understanding with his situation and the fact that he would return to work once he was better. He pleaded with him not to gossip about him in the office and revealed the difficulties as a travelling salesman. The chief clerk sneaked away quietly and was overwhelmed. Gregor started thinking about the future. In his heart, he wanted his sister to speak to chief clerk and convince him that he was alright. His parents thought that he would be a travelling salesman for life. Gregor chased for the chief clerk and realized he could move with his little legs. His mum was in shock and knocked over a pot of coffee on the table. She fled into the kitchen now. The chief clerk quickly sneaked away. His father attempted to direct Gregor back into his room. He was rampant, like a mad man and Gregor backed off slowly. Gregor’s body was broad and he had difficulty getting through the doorway. He needed to get upright in order to go through but his dad shoved him inside, causing Gregor to bleed and left brown specks on the floor. His dad slammed the door shut.

Gregor woke up from his sleep. The antenna could be used for feeling for stuff. One of his legs was almost lifeless after the injury earlier in the morning. He saw a dish of food containing milk that was placed near me. However, the milk did not taste nice and he backed off. The house was silent. Now, nobody visited him at all. He spent the entire night under the couch. Her sister peered at him and felt bad for ignoring him. She noticed the dish which was relatively untouched. Now, she brought a host of other food for Gregor to try. The old cheese was appealing to Gregor and soon he realized that his injury had healed. Now, this was how Gregor would receive the food every day. Gregor realized that nobody would understand him. The maid also asked to be released. Gregor’s mum agreed to it. Gregor tried to eavesdrop on what his family had to say about him. In the past, dad’s business failed and that forced Gregor to work hard as a travelling salesman for the family. His family was also glad to receive the money. Gregor was only close to his sister, who was a talented violinist. It seemed like there was some spare cash left behind from the failed business venture. His dad had been slow and clumsy and had not worked for the past 5 years. Gregor felt ashamed with his situation and that he could not support his family. He felt pained that he could not thank his sister for what she had done. It had been nearly a month since the transformation and his sister grew more accepting to his appearance. To not scare her, Gregor hid behind a bed sheet whenever she entered the room. His mother wanted to see him but his dad stopped him from doing so. Now, Gregor often hanged from the ceiling as he was bored. His sister removed the furniture and may it easier for him to crawl around. Gregor hid under the sheet when his mother entered the room. Her mother lifted the set of drawers but stopped after a while. She felt that the taking away the furniture would be a sign that they wanted Gregor to take care of himself. Now, Gregor realized that the furniture should still be there as it gave him a sense of what it was like to be human. However, his sister was persistent and persuaded mum to remove the furniture. Gregor felt uneasy as they were emptying his room. He wanted to do something about it. Even his writing desk would be removed. Gregor saved a picture on the wall for himself. He was positioned over the picture and didn’t move. His mum was shocked at the sight of him and fainted. His sister closed the door and Gregor didn’t have access to his mum. It was this time that his father got back. His dad approached him. It was clear that he was trying to step on him. Gregor quickly dodged such a movement. Now, there was no point in running as his dad bombarded him with apples. One of them smashed onto his back and it hurt. His mother begged dad not to hurt Gregor now.

The apple had been lodged in his back for a month. His father realized that he could not be treated like an enemy. Due to his injuries, his mobility was severely limited. He was allowed to eavesdrop on his family’s conversation since the door was deliberately opened. His dad would often sleep in his work uniform. Ever since he started working again, dad would often sleep on the chair instead of the bed. The household budget was reduced since Gregor was not working. The family sold some of their jewellery for cash. In addition, they didn’t want to move to a new house because of his condition. His sister had to work hard as well. Gregor wanted to help the family, but found that he couldn’t. His mother tried to clean his room but was scolded for dad as he thought that only her sister would have to clean the room. That caused some conflict in the family. The charwoman, surprisingly, was okay with his appearance. Now Gregor almost stopped eating. The state of his room was in a mess as the family dumped stuff they didn’t want into his room. One of the rooms in the house was rented to 3 gentlemen. Gregor moved the junk somewhere else. He heard a violin noise from the kitchen. His sister started playing it on request from the gentlemen. Gregor inched forward to appreciate the music. It was unique that an insect could appreciate music like that. However, the gentlemen didn’t seem to like the music. One of the men spotted Gregor but his dad quickly came in between them so that their view was obstructed. One of the gentlemen was super pissed at this. The three of them wanted to move out of the house. Gregor was weak from hunger and couldn’t move easily.

Father, Mother, we can’t carry on like this. Maybe you can’t see it, but I can. I don’t want to call this monster my brother, all I can say is: we have to try and get rid of it. We’ve done all that’s humanly possible to look after it and be patient, I don’t think anyone could accuse us of doing anything wrong. – Grete, the sister

If he could just understand us…then perhaps we could come to some kind of arrangement with him… – Father

Her dad agreed but his mum was coughing violently. His sister broke down in tears. Sister wanted to let him go and remember him with respect after he had passed on. Gregor had no intentions of scaring his family as he struggled to turn and head into his room. As he headed back, he realized that his mum had fallen asleep. His sister slammed the door shut after he was inside. She locked the room. Gregor was so weak that he couldn’t move anymore. He recalled the days of a happy family. The cleaner, the next day, poked at him and realized he was dead. Sister realized how skinny it was. The three gentlemen also witnessed the corpse. All of his family members were weeping a little now. Mr Samsa wanted the 3 men out of their house now. The 3 family members wrote excuses from their work and went for a walk. The cleaner disturbed their peace when she tried to describe how she would get rid of the body. Mr Samsa would have none of it and wanted her sacked for breaking the peace. The family started talking on the tram and realized that the situation they were in was not too bad after all. They all held good jobs. They all wanted a smaller and cozier house. His sister’s cheeks were much rosier now and things were looking up. It would soon be time for her to find a good man.

vermin

 

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