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"The Metamorphosis" (original German title: "Die Verwandlung") is a short novel by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It is often cited as one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century and is widely studied in colleges and universities across the western world. The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into an insect.
practice at all in going backward—it was really very slow going. If Gregor had only been allowed to turn himself around, he would have been in his room right away, but he was afraid to make his father impatient by the time-consuming process of turning around, and each moment he faced the threat of a mortal blow on his back or his head from the cane in his father’s hand. Finally Gregor had no other option, for he noticed with horror that he did not understand yet how to maintain his direction
anymore, and the keys were stuck in the locks on the outside. The light in the living room was turned off only late at night, and now it was easy to establish that his parents and his sister had stayed awake all this time, for one could hear clearly as all three moved away on tiptoe. Now it was certain that no one would come in to Gregor anymore until the morning. Thus he had a long time to think undisturbed about how he should reorganize his life from scratch. But the high, open room, in which
animal’s voice,” he tells Gregor’s mother, who cries and sends Gregor’s sister, Grete, to get the doctor. His father, meanwhile, sends the maid, Anna, to get a locksmith to open Gregor’s door. All of this activity reassures Gregor that people want to help him. Still, Gregor has not quite grasped the gravity of his metamorphosis: he expects the doctor and locksmith to work miracles. He even coughs to clear his throat, so he can have a coherent conversation with them. Gregor finally propels
extend itself, and if he finally succeeded doing what he wanted with this limb, in the meantime all the others, as if left free, moved around in an excessively painful agitation. “But I must not stay in bed uselessly,” said Gregor to himself. At first he wanted to get out of bed with the lower part of his body, but this lower part—which, by the way, he had not yet looked at and which he also couldn’t picture clearly—proved itself too difficult to move. The attempt went so slowly. When, having
really depended on it! If only the sister had been there! She was clever. She had already cried while Gregor was still lying quietly on his back. And the manager, this friend of the ladies, would certainly let himself be guided by her. She would have closed the door to the apartment and talked him out of his fright in the hall. But the sister was not even there. Gregor must deal with it himself. Without thinking that as yet he didn’t know anything about his present ability to move and that his