mr. samsa

anonymous asked:

hi, Ive read Metamorphosis but didnt quite understand the end. I still really like the way Kafka describes his stories and want to read more. So could tell me a book that is a lot more understandable by Kafka (if possible)

Bad news…The Metamorphosis is one of Kafka’s more sensible stories, in that it takes place in a mundane environment and has a coherent plot. Kafka is not exactly known for stories that make sense.

You’ll have to be more specific about “not understanding then end” but I’m going to assume you’re confused about the meaning of the country vacation…

1. From the Samsas’ point of view, Gregor’s transformation has been nothing but an immense, shameful burden, a trial for them to power through by becoming wage earners. When Gregor dies, the Samsas want to celebrate, and what better way to celebrate their freedom by freeing themselves from work? Off to the countryside they go.

2. The final line, where Mr. and Mrs. Samsa think about marrying off Grete and watch Grete stand up reinforces the theme of metamorphosis/transformation. Look at Grete and her brother’s transformations. 

Grete goes from a timid, lazy girl to a more independent and capable woman. She is the one who takes charge of Gregor and gives the ultimatum that he must die, not her parents. 

Gregor goes from a proud veteran (people forget this a lot) and breadwinner to a hideous, shameful family secret that is reviled by all. His fall directly correlates to Grete’s growth. 

The cycle of failure and success is completed when the firstborn son withers away and dies and Grete has being fully grown into the role assigned to a girl of her class: wife. 

3. The last line implies that the Samsas are going to exploit and burden Grete the way they did to Gregor. There is no escape. No escape from what exactly is up for debate, but helplessness and inevitability are everywhere in Kafka’s work. 

As Camus said, Kafka’s greatest strength is making people reread. Don’t be afraid to read the story again for comprehension or simply to catch more details. Kafka uses details very efficiently. 

Tokyo Ghoul vs Literature: The Metamorphisis

I read that story in eighth grade. At the time I thought ‘what would I do if I turned into an insect…’ It was something of a dark musing of mine.

Kaneki uses literature as a way of expressing feelings he cannot normally express in one way or another. However, because of his emotional shortcomings he can tend to come off as naive and romanticize, or fail to understand the deeper meanings of the works he’s reading and instead just relate to the dark surface feelings. For example, despite most agreeing ‘The Metamorphosis’ is actually a metaphor and the real horror of the story is how his family treats him when the main character becomes unable to provide for them, Kaneki considers the implications of literally turning into an insect.

So the same way Kaneki misses the subtleties of the metamorphosis, for the broader more emotional element, Tokyo Ghoul in it’s almost whole plot reference of the metamorphosis, disguises deeper themes. This same kind of deception is even apparent in Kaneki’s character development, where we learn his issues were present well before the ghoul surgery aggravated them. 

All of these combine into the many references to Kafka’s most famous novel ‘The Metamorphosis’ that are present in Tokyo Ghoul, and the themes shared between the two works.

Keep reading


Final sentences:

“Like a dog!” he said, it was as if the shame of it must outlive him. 

from The Trial

[All the time, Grete was becoming livelier. With all the worry they had been having of late her cheeks had become pale, but, while they were talking, Mr. and Mrs. Samsa were struck, almost simultaneously, with the thought of how their daughter was blossoming into a well built and beautiful young lady. They became quieter. Just from each other’s glance and almost without knowing it they agreed that it would soon be time to find a good man for her.] And, as if in confirmation of their new dreams and good intentions, as soon as they reached their destination Grete was the first to get up and stretch out her young body. 

from Metamorphosis 

Masses of blue-black rock rose in sheer wedges to the railway line; even craning one’s neck out of the window, one could not see their summits; narrow, gloomy, jagged valleys opened out and one tried to follow with a pointing finger the direction in which they lost themselves; broad mountain streams appeared, rolling in great waves down on to the foothills and drawing with them a thousand foaming wavelets, plunging underneath the bridges over which the train rushed; and they were so near that the breath of coldness rising from them chilled the skin of one’s face.

from Amerika 

She held a trembling hand out to K. and made him sit down beside her, she spoke with an effort, it was an effort to understand her, but what she said.

from The Castle 

‘How could fools get tired?’

from Children on the Highway 


The metamorphosis of Mr. Samsa - Caroline Leaf (1977)