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The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis

  

by Franz Kafka

Analysis: Writing Style

Sophisticated And Ironic

Yes, we're aware that calling Kafka "sophisticated" and "ironic" at the same time makes him sound like he's somehow wearing a monocle, a dinner jacket, an 80's wolf-howling-at-moon t-shirt and some cowboy boots all at the same time.

And while Kafka was a weirdo, he wasn't an affected weirdo. He was just full of surprises.

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 Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed"—okay, ordinary enough—"into a monstrous vermin."

A monstrous vermin?!? Who expects anything worse than bed hair and morning breath when they wake up, let alone being changed into a bug? Kafka's style isn't loaded with complicated vocabulary, but you'll notice that his sentences seem to go on and on until they end with some surprising or counter-intuitive twist.

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