Click here to Download The Metamorphosis PDF Book by Franz Kafka Language English having PDF Size 1 MB and No of Pages 79.
I woke up one morning recently to discover that I was a seventy-year-old man. Is this different from what happens to Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis? He wakes up to find that he’s become a near-human-sized beetle (probably of the scarab family, if his household’s charwoman is to be believed), and not a particularly robust specimen at that.
The Metamorphosis PDF Book by Franz Kafka
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|No of Pages||79|
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Our reactions, mine and Gregor’s, are very similar. We are confused and bemused, and think that it’s a momentary delusion that will soon dissipate, leaving our lives to continue as they were. What could the source of these twin transformations possibly be? Certainly, you can see a birthday coming from many miles away, and it should not be a shock or a surprise when it happens.
And as any wellmeaning friend will tell you, seventy is just a number. What impact can that number really have on an actual, unique physical human life? In the case of Gregor, a young traveling salesman spending a night at home in his family’s apartment in Prague, awakening into a strange, human/insect hybrid existence is, to say the obvious.
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A surprise he did not see coming, and the reaction of his household—mother, father, sister, maid, cook—is to recoil in benumbed horror, as one would expect, and not one member of his family feels compelled to console the creature by, for example, pointing out that a beetle is also a living thing, and turning into one might, for a mediocre human living a humdrum life.
Be an exhilarating and elevating experience, and so what’s the problem? This imagined consolation could not, in any case, take place within the structure of the story, because Gregor can understand human speech, but cannot be understood when he tries to speak, and so his family never think to approach him as a creature with human intelligence.
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It must be noted, though, that in their bourgeois banality, they somehow accept that this creature is, in some unnamable way, their Gregor. It never occurs to them that, for example, a giant beetle has eaten Gregor; they don’t have the imagination, and he very quickly becomes not much more than a housekeeping problem.) His transformation seals him within himself as surely as if he had suffered a total paralysis.
“What in the world has happened to me?” he thought. It was no dream. His room, a proper human room, if admittedly rather too small, lay peacefully between the four familiar walls. Above the table, where an unpacked collection of cloth samples was arranged (Samsa was a traveling salesman), hung the picture he had recently clipped from a glossy magazine and placed in an attractive gilt frame.
This picture showed a lady in a fur hat and fur boa who sat erect, holding out to the viewer a heavy fur muff in which her entire forearm had vanished. Gregor’s gaze then shifted to the window, where the bleak weather—raindrops could be heard striking the metal sill—made him feel quite melancholy. “What if I just go back to sleep for a little while and forget all this foolishness.” The Metamorphosis PDF Book
He thought, but this proved utterly impossible, for it was his habit to sleep on his right side, and in his present state he was unable to assume this position. No matter how forcefully he thrust himself onto his side, he kept rolling back. Perhaps a hundred times he attempted it, closing his eyes so as not to have to see those struggling legs.
And relented only when he began to feel a faint dull ache in his side, unlike anything he’d ever felt before. “Good Lord,” he thought, “what an exhausting profession I’ve chosen. Day in and day out on the road. Work like this is far more unsettling than business conducted at home, and then I have the agony of traveling itself to contend with: worrying about train connections.
The irregular, unpalatable meals, and human intercourse that is constantly changing, never developing the least constancy or warmth. Devil take it all!” He felt a faint itch high up on his belly; still on his back, he laboriously edged himself over to the bedpost so he could raise his head more easily; identified the site of the itch: a cluster of tiny white dots he was unable to judge. The Metamorphosis PDF Book
And wanted to probe the spot with a leg, but drew it back again at once, for the touch sent cold shivers rippling through him. “Gregor,” his father now said from the room on the left, “the general manager has come to inquire why you failed to depart by the early train. We don’t know what to tell him. Besides, he’d like to have a word with you in person. So please open the door.
I’m sure he’ll be kind enough not to take offense at the untidiness of your room.” “Good morning, Herr Samsa,” the general manager now cried out in a friendly tone. “He isn’t well,” Gregor’s mother said to the general manager while his father was still having his say beside the door, “not well at all, take my word for it, sir. Why else would Gregor miss his train!
The office is the only thing that boy ever thinks of. It really bothers me that he never goes out in the evening; he’s been back in the city an entire week now, but he’s spent every last evening at home. He just sits at the table with us, quietly reading the newspaper, or else studies the timetables. Even just doing woodworking projects seems to entertain him. The Metamorphosis PDF Book
He carved a little picture frame, for example, did it in two or three evenings with his fretsaw; you’ll be amazed how pretty it is; it’s hanging there in his room; you’ll see it in a minute when Gregor opens the door. Oh, and I’m so glad you paid us a visit, sir; on our own we’d never have managed to persuade Gregor to open up; he’s so stubborn; and surely he isn’t well, even though he denied it this morning.”
“Be . . . right . . . there,” Gregor said, not moving, so as not to miss a single word of their conversation. “No other explanation, madam, is conceivable to me,” the general manager said. “Let us hope it is nothing grave. Though on the other hand I would note that, as businessmen—fortunately or unfortunately, as one will—we are very often obliged to suppress indispositions out of consideration for the firm.”
“So are you ready to let the general manager in?” Gregor’s impatient father asked, knocking again at the door. “No,” Gregor responded. In the left-hand room horrified silence, while in the room on the right Gregor’s sister began to sob. “Well,” Gregor said, quite conscious of the fact that he was the only one who had retained his composure, “I shall get dressed at once, pack up my samples and be on my way. The Metamorphosis PDF Book
As for the rest of you, are you prepared to let me do so? You can see, sir”—he said, addressing the general manager—“I am not obstinate, nor a shirker; traveling is burdensome, but without it I could not live. Where are you going now, sir? To the office? Yes? Will you report all these things truthfully?
A person can be incapable of working at the moment, but this is precisely the right time to recall his earlier accomplishments and consider that he will later, once the hindrance has been overcome, work all the more industriously and with greater focus. I am so dreadfully indebted to the boss, surely you’re aware of this. On the other hand, I have my parents and sister to think of.
Truly I’m in a bind, but I shall work my way out of it. Don’t make things more difficult for me than they already are. Take my side at the office! No one loves us drummers, I know. Everyone thinks the salesmen rake in a king’s ransom while enjoying life’s pleasures. And there’s never any particular cause to reconsider this prejudice. The Metamorphosis PDF Book Download
But you, sir, have a far better grasp of the general circumstances than the rest of the staff, better even—if I may speak confidentially—than the boss himself, who in his role as businessman can easily err in his opinion to an employee’s disadvantage. And you no doubt know quite well that a drummer, who spends almost the entire year away from the office.
Can easily become the victim of gossip, happenstance and groundless complaints against which he cannot possibly defend himself, as he usually never even learns of them, or only when he has completed one of his journeys, exhausted, and then back at home is forced to observe the dire physical effects of causes that can no longer be identified.
Please, sir, do not leave without saying something to show you agree with me at least to some small extent!” Not until he reached the door did he realize what in fact had lured him there: it was the smell of something edible. There stood a bowl filled with sweet milk in which little pieces of white bread were floating. The Metamorphosis PDF Book Download
He almost laughed with delight, for his hunger was now even more powerful than in the morning, and right away he dunked his head in the milk almost up to his eyes. But he quickly drew it out again in disappointment; it wasn’t just that eating was difficult thanks to his tender left side—and he couldn’t eat at all without his entire body becoming gaspingly involved—but beyond that.
Even though milk had always been his favorite drink, which is no doubt why his sister had brought him some, now it didn’t taste good to him at all, indeed it was almost with revulsion that he turned away from the bowl and crept back to the center of the room. This was how Gregor now received his food each day, once in the morning.
When his parents and the maid were still asleep, and the second time after everyone had eaten lunch, for his parents would always nap a little afterward, and his sister would send the maid out on some errand or other. Surely they didn’t want Gregor to starve either, but perhaps it would have been too much for them to experience his meals through more than hearsay. The Metamorphosis PDF Book Download
Or perhaps his sister wanted to spare them even this modest sorrow, for Lord knows they were suffering enough. Gregor never learned on what pretext the doctor and locksmith had been sent away that first morning, for since he himself could not be understood, it occurred to no one, not even his sister, that he could understand the others, so when his sister came to his room.
He had to be content merely with hearing the sighs she heaved now and then and her words of supplication addressed to the saints. Only later, when she had started to grow accustomed to all of this—though of course it was impossible to become fully accustomed to circumstances like these—would Gregor sometimes catch a remark that was meant in a friendly way or could be interpreted as such.
“He tucked right in today,” she would say when Gregor had found the food she left him particularly tasty, while in the opposite case, which gradually began to occur more and more often, she was in the habit of saying almost mournfully: “This time he didn’t touch a thing.” Now this money was by no means sufficient to allow the family to live off the interest or anything of that sort. The Metamorphosis PDF Book Free
It might possibly have been enough to sustain the family for a year, two at most, but that’s all there was. So in fact it was the kind of sum one really shouldn’t touch, one to be set aside in case of emergency; the money to live on would have to be earned. Gregor’s father was admittedly in good health, but he was old and hadn’t worked in a full five years.
And in any case he was supposed to avoid overtaxing himself; in those five years—the first holiday in his strenuous and yet unsuccessful life—he had put on a lot of weight and now lumbered as he walked. And was Gregor’s old mother now supposed to hold down a job, despite her asthma and the fact that it was already an exertion for her to cross from one end of the apartment to the other.
For which reason she spent every second day gasping for breath on the sofa beside the open window? And was his sister to go out working, this child of seventeen whose lifestyle no one would begrudge her: dressing nicely, sleeping late, helping out around the house, taking part in a few modest entertainments, and above all, playing the violin? The Metamorphosis PDF Book Free
Whenever the family came to speak of the necessity of someone earning money, Gregor would let go of the door and throw himself down upon the cool leather sofa beside it, burning with shame and sorrow.