Book Review

by Marjorie


Reading Kafka is like jumping into a new dimension of creativity and imagination. The novel itself composes of only three chapters, yet it will leave the readers with very critical aftermath thoughts.

I am one of those who think that his words actually linger in your head even after days of reading them. The way he portrays metamorphosis signifies his deep insight as to what literature, critical thinking and society connect. Gregor Samsa (the protagonist) all of a sudden wakes up different. According to the book’s English translation, he turns into a monstrous vermin. Many critics spend countless hours of study to verify whether it is really a vermin, a beetle, young cockroach or any other blood sucking insect. Nevertheless, the story shows not just Gregor’s struggles but also his whole family in general. They are all facing their inner demons. It depicts unspoken choices, loathing, and even regrets. The family lacks genuine communication, so when their bread winner turns into something they never thought he could become, they start to build more walls instead of sympathy. It seems like there has always been a battle of supremacy between Gregor and his father. Their old wounds are never talked about. The book has almost everything in terms of conflict identification, but mostly, it tackles on the self and societal dispositions.

Some say that this is Kafka’s metaphor of his life especially when he becomes sick that eventually  disturbs his writing, and also, his indifference to his father. Some also says that Gregor has a mental illness and family sees him as a monster for having it. Moreover, for me, the book is quite liberating when you use some tools of the Marxists to analyze it.

The ending is quite unexpected; it will also give you the daunting feeling especially when you grow up in a closer family tie.

Franz Kafka, is indeed a true literary genius for coming up with a work like this. This is one of the must-read classics.

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