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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?

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