The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, written in 1912 and published in 1915, is a surreal and existential novella that explores the themes of alienation, absurdity, and the dehumanizing effects of modern life. The story begins with the protagonist, Gregor Samsa, waking up one morning to discover that he has been transformed into a giant insect. The narrative unfolds as Gregor grapples with his new physical form, his family's reactions to his metamorphosis, and his own sense of isolation.

Taking place in a dreary, unnamed European city, The Metamorphosis is often interpreted as an allegory for the dehumanizing effects of capitalism and the challenges of maintaining one’s individuality in a conformist society. Gregor’s struggle to communicate and connect with others mirrors the difficulties many individuals face when confronted with societal expectations and the pressure to conform.

The Metamorphosis is considered a classic of existential literature, and its impact has endured over the years. The novella raises profound questions about the nature of humanity, the search for meaning, and the consequences of societal expectations on the individual. The multitude of interpretations of the work speaks to its nuanced and complex construction.

Read an in-depth character analysis of Gregor Samsa, the plot summary, and explanations of important quotes from The Metamorphosis.

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