This is the story where a successful man found himself turned into a huge monstrous vermin. Because of it, he lost his job and he became totally reliant upon his family who had become reliant on him prior his transformation. While his mother can’t bare the sight and the smell of him and his father’s emotional and physical abuse, his sister somehow provide him an anchor and at times he pondered about the significance of his existence the entirety of his fate as a giant insect stuck inside a house.
I am not quite sure how to respond to this overanalyzed book without being repetitive. I understood the symbolism of the text and the psychology of the author while he was writing this because soon it became more apparent that this is getting too personal. I also didn’t think that Kafka had any prior knowledge in entomology at the time of writing. He was quite specific about his reaction as an insect which probably from observance since his mirrored character’s conducts are too unspecific to be taken literally other than as a symbolic way to portray his issues in literal form.
In some strange way, I do think “Metamorphosis” is a come-of-age book. His transformation is a symbolism for puberty. His cocooned stage and avoidance of the world told a story about himself and by including his family’s disappointment throughout the whole novel, it does make sense how the Japanese are more inspired by him than I ever was. There were countless of J-drama, manga and anime seemingly dedicated on the nature of this book which told much about the culture itself. Junji Ito and Kaori Yuuki made a good deal Kafka-esque influence in their work.
I do wish I could read the original untranslated work as some meanings can be lost in between since I do think the translation made the book unseemingly bland. I felt it became too passive and monotonous and weirdly predictable. Probably because I’ve been indirectly influenced by Kafka but psychologically speaking, this guy was obviously depressed that he had to stoop into empathising with an insect to express his feeling and downright emotionally-scarred by his family and I think he even lost his sense and his faith in humanity just by writing this.
In a sense, I do think he is hollow in the inside. Alone and disappointed in the world and severely disappointed in himself. He detailed how his family didn’t care about him as their son. How can anybody be more severe on himself like that. This is a story of a confused boy who sees the world through an injured mind and became so frightened by it that he even became too afraid to be free and found death as welcome instead.
I don’t love this book. I don’t hate it either. I only felt this monotonous depth of sadness and pity. If this isn’t an academical reading, I don’t think I would revel in the work of an unhappy childhood and emotionally abusive family for the sake of reading literature pretentiously.