Study Guide

The Metamorphosis Writing Style

By Franz Kafka

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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