The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was laying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his domelike brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly keep in position and was about to slide off completely. His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes. –


Metamorphosis was the first short story of it’s kind I have ever read. Usually when you come across novels where someone is transforming into something else, it turns out to be an illusion or a metaphor for how they are feeling or acting. Not in this case.

Kafka describes Gregor’s transformation into a cockroach so well that I could no longer picture him as anywhere near human once the transformation was complete. It was difficult to remember that he ever had been human.

I’ve recommended this story to everyone I’ve known who enjoys reading since I first read it myself in Year 12 Literature. I never really had much interest in short stories before then and I also wasn’t aware at that point or had lost the idea that a story could be absolutely anything you make it. It doesn’t have to follow certain rules, especially in the sense that the reality of the story has to be in perfect alignment with the reality of the “real” world.

An excellent read for any writers dealing with a block or who have forgotten that story telling can be anything you want to make it.


  • Great concept and execution

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