I am currently reading Kafka’s novels “The Trial” and “The Metamorphosis”. As you all know that I do not have much spare time, so it is good for me that I still steal some time to read. I have finally finished reading "The Metamorphosis". It is a short novel. I would like to share with you my review of the book. As I stated earlier, I should, however, choose some light reading materials, which will not hurt my brain too much. I felt suffocated by the deep thinking and emotional fluctuation. This novel, though not as heavy as the others I read before, still portrays a depressing scene.
If you have read Kafka’s novels, you will find loneliness, haunting loneliness, and extreme frustration throughout the whole pages. The stories are mostly surreal, combining reality with fantasy and with a touch of ironic humor.
In The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa is the exemplar of this loneliness, trapped in the body of a huge repulsive beetle, incapable of communication and imprisoned by his own family, no way out.
Before he turned into the giant beetle, he was a prisoner of his family, carrying the burden of love, sacrificing himself in every effort to provide a comfortable life for his unappreciative family. As he transmuted into a giant beetle, he found his family able to support themselves along with his change. Now, he is alleviated of the burden. However, he faces a sad truth, the indifference and neglect from the family he loves so much upon his situation.
In the end, he dies from the negligence of his sister and the alienation from his family, as his usefulness runs out.
It makes you think of the absurdity, insignificance and triviality of life. In The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa was once the center of his family, but the next moment, he was nothing. How life changes in an instant! I remember there was a Chinese saying “One with chronic illness drives away even the most filial piety son (久病無孝子)1 ”.
This is how I feel while reading the novel “The Metamorphosis” by “Franz Kafka”. I have not finished reading the book “The Trial”. I will let you know how I feel once I finish reading it.
NB.1: This is my attempt to translate that Chinese saying. If you have better translation, please let me know.
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