Book Reviews of some priceless books..!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Metamorphosis ~ Frank Kafka

Metamorphosis is called as the stages of the life of a butterfly . The tiny cocoon gets transformed to caterpillar ~ so the baby cocoon blooms into a butterfly and there comes the coining of the term "Metamorphosis".Well, let me tell you first that this post is one of the longest posts that I have written as a book review, so read on ;-)

I would like to quote this poem called Metamorphosis which I read sometime back:
Everyone keeps saying
You have your whole life to decide
But five years will pass so quickly
And then where will I hide?
A transformation in the making
But not yet complete
Sometimes I feel I'm floating
But I need to find my feet
One second you're a kid
hanging out with your best friends
but soon I'll be all grown up
Is this how the fairy tale ends?
Sometimes it's so confusing
Which path I want to take
And how will I prepare myself
For success or heartbreak?
Soon I will be driving
I already have a car
But I still feel like a little kid
Warned not to go to far
Sometimes I feel all grown up
And now I'm too old to play
And now I have to make all these decisions
But nothing will go my way
Why can't we just be kids forever
And save the grown up stuff for last?
But reality doesn't play fair
And I'm growing up so fast."
Well,cheers to the person who wrote such a beautiful poem ,isnt it? The book review throws light on the inner meaning conveyed by the poem..So, lets get set go....!!

Franz Kafka was born in Czechoslovakia, yet went on to become one of the greatest writers in the German language. Metamorphosis is along side The Trial, his greatest work. The book Metamorphosis revolves around the story of a young man who wakes up one morning to find that he is turning into an insect. At first he tries to hide this from his family by locking his door and avoiding human contact. He soon loses his job and thus is unable to support his household including his mother, father and sister. His family finds out about his condition and try to find a way to look after him though they find his appearance disgusting. The story is narrated through the creature/man's eyes and you see how he is affected by this change amongst them. At first they believed the creature has killed him and when they realise the truth, they seem even more disgusted. Eventually, lacking the money in the form of earnings he used to bring in, they have to find work and let lodgers into their home to pay the bills, whilst keeping their son secret.

Kafka uses the idea of his protagonist change as a device to show the problems he saw in German society at the time. The family face huge poverty in the story and the vilification directed towards the son can be seen as a symbol of the persecution Kafka. Though this was written before the times of Hitler's Aryan ideals, there was still a sense of antisemitic feeling in German society at the time. Overall, Kafka creates a surreal world all of his own in this story, as with many of his others and yet manages to keep the reader emotionally attached to a character that they would obviously not identify with otherwise.

The Metamorphosis is an autobiographical piece of writing, and we find that parts of the story reflect Kafka's own life. It is well known that Kafka felt like an insect in his father's authoritative presence and even developed a stammer while speaking to him. Gregor, likewise, cowers in fear of his father, who finds him repulsive and attacks him at every turn. Kafka even wrote that he was pleased with the similarity of Samsa's name to his own. Kafka's mother, like her alter-ego of the story, hid silently behind her husband's presence. Out of a sense of duty to his parents, and because he needed money for his planned marriage, Kafka was forced to take an office job he did not enjoy. Furthermore, his family insisted that he needs to spend his afternoons in the office. Kafka himself felt that his presence at the office was pointless, but it took up enough time that he would not be able to write, alienating him from his creative needs. Kafka had been very close to his sister, Ottla, and she usually understood him. In this dispute, however, even she turned against him in insisting he stay at the office in the afternoons. Kafka felt that she had betrayed him, and that night he actually contemplated suicide. This happened in November. Less than two months later, in Kafka's writing, Gregor's sister betrays him by insisting that the family must get rid of him.

Franz Kafka's classic short story
The Metamorphosis is about a travelling salesman who wakes one morning to find himself changed into a giant beetle. Unable to communicate with his family, though he can understand them perfectly, the story charts the degradation of his humanity as he loses contact with the world around him.

Kafka's original became a classic because it's an honest fiction about how disability can affect a family, especially if it's sudden and seriously debilitating. By providing us with a visual interpretation, the metaphor is perhaps diluted a little further, reducing the power of our own imaginations to turn Kafka's bug into our own worst insect nightmare. However, this is a compassionate retelling of a fascinating novella that increases the accessibility and broadens the audience without dumbing down the content.

Now, in case you too are intrigued by works of the great German writer - Kafka, you might want to check out The Kafka Project - where one can spot every detail of Kafka's works, fans' opinions & translations. You know what , you may find this peice of post a little unusual, but it hits the hard core fact of life and this evolves out to be what you call "metamorphosis"~the stages of transformation.Ciao, with your comments ! :-)


Blogger Chinmay said...

Should I call this post - a transmogrification of the Book Review Blog itself? ;)

The post artistically takes one thru' the chronicle of Franz Kafka's life - just shows up how much Tanya wud have been engrossed while reading the book. Certainly one of the best posts on this blog !! Does that explain "unusual" post ? [;)]

Monday, 08 January, 2007

Anonymous Sandeep said...

Well done ,keep it up!

Thursday, 11 January, 2007

Anonymous said...

An usual & touching book review indeed- the summary itself is so fascinating that the book lovers get tempted to read the full book in one go.Frank Kafka is really impressive in expressing the feelings.
A must read for all.

Friday, 02 March, 2007

Anonymous Pooja said...

Awesome Review..very touching and one can relate to it..!!

The best part of the review is the Poem..

Keep Posting..All the best..!!

Wednesday, 02 May, 2007


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