"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself
transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect" (Kafka 1757).
This opening is famous not only for its startling content but also for its
calm, matter-of-fact style which then sets the tone for the rest of the
story. Along with Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and Dante's Inferno, Franz
Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" has ...view middle of the document...
" Whatever the causes for Gregor feeling this way,
these causes have led to his isolation and alienation (the feeling of
being a stranger and an alien, even in those places where one should feel
at home). Gregor has undergone an ultimate alienation: he is alienated
from both his psychological and physical self.
Once Gregor's metamorphosis (change) has been accomplished, the story
moves inevitably to his death. In many ways, the protagonist (main
character) of "The Metamorphosis" and his dilemmas are much like those in
"The Death of Ivan Ilyich."
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia to a Jewish
family of German origin. Kafka received his doctorate in law in 1906 but
never practiced law, instead taking a job as a minor official in the
accident claims division of an insurance company. Listening to stories of
hardships and dealing with bureaucracy undoubtedly contributed to the
themes of the stories he wrote each day after work. His first work