About Franz Kafka:
He was a German-language write, who wrote novels and short stories. He has been regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th Century. Some of his works include “Die Verwandlung, i.e. The Metamorphosis, Der Process, i.e The Trial, Das Schloss, i.e The Castle. Most of the works, including these are filled with the themes and the archetypes of alienation, physical and psychological brutality, transformation of characters, parent-child conflict, etc.
The story was first published in 1915. It starts with the story of a travelling salesman named Gregor, who one day wakes up to find himself transformed into a creature, which can be interpreted as a Cockroach or Centipede, according to the readers imagination. Gregor is the kind of person who doesn’t seem to be much happy with his life or job. He seems to be doing it only because he is helping his parents to pay of a debt and to help his sister get into a music school. For him, his life has become monotonous. The Metamorphosis is based on a variety of themes such as Human Relationships, duty towards family, guilt, personal identity and most importantly, a feeling of alienation, want for freedom and a desire to escape. The strongest feeling is that of alienation. Before the metamorphosis, Gregor is alienated from his job, his family and even to the existence of his own body because it is only after quite some time that he realizes that his body has transformed.
Critics say that fragments of this story might as well have been influenced by the authors personal life due to the contrast between the relationship of Gregor and his father in the story with that of the author and is own father. In real life, Kafka’s father wanted him to join the family business but instead he went on to write store who lead to a strain in the relationship of the two.
The Metamorphosis is a story which also shows us how Gregor has been treated by his family and deemed useful until his transformation, i.e. until the time he was earning, after which he has been left to be on his own and has been treated as a burden by the family. The story is a good example to study human behavior. The reason for the transformation of the character has not been revealed in the story. Overall, its a classic read, set in the “old times” which leaves us with questions for ourselves, the author and Gregor.
The story is available in the form of books as well as free PDF online. It was also made into a movie under he same name in the year 2012.