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The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis

by Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis Analysis

Literary Devices in The Metamorphosis

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

You could say the entire story is an allegory. After all, the setting seems so ordinary that it's tempting to see Gregor's transformation as a symbolic one, rather than an actual one. Maybe he's on...

Setting

The story doesn't give us a specific geographical location or historical date. With the exception of the very last paragraph, where the Samsas take a trip out to the country, all of the action take...

Narrator Point of View

The story is mainly told through the perspective of Gregor Samsa, as if the narrator were planted with Gregor's human consciousness inside Gregor's insect body. We discover aspects of Gregor's body...

Genre

Written in 1912 and published in 1915, Kafka's Metamorphosis falls squarely in the genre of Modernist fiction. The fate of Gregor, lonely traveling salesman, expresses the common Modernist concern...

Tone

A really famous writer, James Joyce, once said that a novelist shouldn't make his opinions known in fiction: he should remain disinterested, as if he were standing outside his creation "paring his...

Writing Style

Here's a fun word to dazzle your English teacher with: anacoluthon. An anacoluthon is a sentence that ends in a surprising or unexpected way. Take the first line of Kafka's Metamorphosis: "When Gre...

What's Up With the Title?

The conventional translation of Kafka's Die Verwandlung is The Metamorphosis, but the German original actually has a more run-of-the-mill sense of "transformation." The English word "metamorphosis"...

What's Up With the Ending?

For a story with such a sensational beginning, Kafka's Metamorphosis ends with a relative whimper. After all the hijinks, you'd expect Gregor to die in a more theatrical way. A death match between...

Tough-o-Meter

Kafka's story is a relatively easy read and hilarious to boot. There aren't any hard to understand philosophical passages or confusing plot twists. We're giving the story a 5 because, underneath it...

Plot Analysis

Gregor wakes up one morning and finds himself turned into a bug.It seems odd to begin a story with what should be the ending. After all, all kinds of questions are probably swimming in your head. L...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

Gregor wakes up to discover he's a bug.You're probably glancing at the rest of the plot analysis thinking that maybe Kafka's skipped ahead a couple of stages. Being a disgusting insect could very w...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Gregor wakes up one morning and discovers that he's been turned into a bug. His family and acquaintances are shocked and repulsed.The family adjusts to life with Gregor, who remains confined to his...

Trivia

The Metamorphosis was a big hit when Kafka read the story out loud to his buddies in Prague. He had to keep pausing in order to give everyone a chance to stop laughing. (Source)Kafka's typical day...

Steaminess Rating

There isn't any bodice-ripping here. A photograph of a fully clothed woman on a wall is about as sexual as the story gets.

Allusions

Jakob Wasserman, The Story of Young Renate Fuchs (1.1)Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Venus in Furs (1.2)
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