The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka Published 1915 Chapter One When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin. He was lying on his back as hard as armor plate, and when he lifted his head a little, he saw his vaulted brown belly, sectioned by arch-shaped ribs, to whose dome the cover, about to slide off completely, could barely cling. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, were waving helplessly before his eyes. Kafka the Outsider • 1883-1924; born in Prague • German-speaking Czech • Jewish unbeliever • Harsh father; difficult relationship • Died of tuberculosis • Sisters later died in concentration camps Modernism • Desire to discard ideas and values of the past and to find new ideas more applicable to 20th century life • Effort to capture reality of modern life in form and content • Disjointedness, alienation of modern life • Fragmentation and uncertainty of human experience. Is He a Bug? “monstrous vermin” “ungeheueres Ungeziefer” No place in family, without a place in God’s order. Some Questions to Begin • Why is Samsa a “monstrous vermin”? • Is there a connection between SAMSA KAFKA • How does this work relate to its historical/cultural context (Modernism)? • Is The Metamorphosis relevant today?