1. In Guadalupe Nettel’s “The Body Where I Was Born” she reads and identifies with the character Gregor Samsa from Franz Kafka’s novel “Metamorphosis”. “Nowhere in the story does it say exactly what kind of insect Gregor Samsa was, but I quickly gathered it was a cockroach. He had turned into one; I was one by maternal decree, if not by birth.” she states. Nettel’s childhood, strained by her relationship with her mother, from whom she earned the nickname “cockroach”, which served as a critique of her posture. Such critique, along with the abnormality in her eye further reinforced the idea that she was undesirable, much like Gregor Samsa.
This would shape much of Nettel’s childhood and adolescence. Labeled as undesirable and ‘other’ both at home and at school, she withdrew into herself. She was alienated, suffered from low self-esteem, a direct parallel to Gregor Samsa’s experiences following his metamorphosis into a giant insect. However, Nettel’s isolation and harsh experiences made her resilient and self sufficient, very much like cockroaches who are able to survive the harshest conditions of the world.
2. Moshin Hamid's “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” draws some parallels to Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis with its two leading characters Changez and Erica. In Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa finds himself in the same life-altering situations as Moshin Hamid's characters. The primary being both Gregor & Changez quitting lucrative jobs that offered them little satisfaction aside