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Apr 27, 2023

— Read The Metamorphosis, Kafka, pp. 995-1027 in the Norton anthology, Vol. 2.
Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis opens with Gregor Samsa waking up one morning to find himself “transformed right there in his bed into some sort of monstrous insect”, and we learn that this “was no dream.” Kafka goes on to write that:
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 went back to sleep for a little while, and forget about all this foolishness,”, 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. (p. 995-6)
What do you make of Gregor’s initial reaction to his transformation?

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