Let's discuss Franz Kafka's novella, The Metamorphosis

Even if you've come across this seminal work of twentieth century fiction before, it may be time to give it a close reading to illuminate the complex, astounding details. Though the cause of Gregor Samsa's transformation is never revealed, and Kafka never gave an explanation, we can speculate! The cited article below sheds a slant of light on Kafka's novella, finally published in 1915. Join us!

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2014/01/on-translating-kafkas-the-metamorphosis.html

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  • Alice S.

    What did Gregor achieve by diminishing and by letting his father grow massive? What did Kafka achieve?

    May 28, 2014

  • Sasha D.

    More questions (7-14):
    7) Why didn’t Gregor do something about his being trapped as a salesman? He supported his family and even chose their apartment.
    8) Did Gregor cause himself to become an insect?
    9) Was he doing the wrong thing by supporting his family?
    10) What’s the classical metamorphosis – in Ovid, etc – (it’s NOT going from being a human to being a bug)?
    11) How did the lodgers change the dynamics in the apartment?
    12) Is Gregor’s suffering self-imposed? Why must he suffer? He didn’t do anything wrong… (if you can’t figure out the cause, there’s something unsettling about it)
    13) Why is there always a scapegoat?
    14) Causality: here the metamorphosis is absurd and irrational, so you can’t blame the person.

    May 24, 2014

  • Sasha D.

    Here are some questions (6 of 12) to think about, courtesy of Bonnie Naradzay:
    1) Is it a good thing to wake up as a gigantic insect?
    (it was the first time he’d overslept in five years; his father got a job; the daughter got a job…the mother did sewing…)
    2) Does the quality of the metamorphosis depend on what you were originally?
    3) How much change was there in Gregor mentally after he woke up as a gigantic insect?
    4) Which comes first – the experience of being bug-like? Or the metamorphosis into a bug? Has he already experienced being a bug before becoming one physically?
    5) In what sense is Gregor, the man, a good man? He certainly was a good worker.
    6) Why isn’t the family working (at the start of the story)?

    May 24, 2014

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