preview

The Kafka 's The Metamorphosis

Decent Essays
Gregor Samsa, a traveling businessman, wakes up to find himself transformed into a human-sized insect in the short story The Metamorphosis by Kafka. He’s disoriented and thinks that he’s dreaming, but, through his family’s shocked reactions, finds out that he actually is an insect. The Metamorphosis is laced with dark humor, but Wallace, in his analysis of Kafka’s works, Laughing with Kafka, says that “it is next to impossible to get them [students] to see that Kafka is funny” (23). Kafka’s piece usually fascinates readers, but it is difficult to see why at first, because it takes some thinking to realize the power of Kafka’s dark humor. The Metamorphosis engages the reader because it is funny through the use of dark humor.
Kafka carefully picks and chooses what details he presents. Wallace says that “great short stories and great jokes have a lot in common. Both depend on…”exformation” (23). Exformation is when you present specific details, but not all of the details, that, when read in context, gives hints at deeper meanings. For example, when Samsa first woke up, he “saw, when he raised his head slightly, a jutting brown underbelly divided into arching segments” (Kafka, 112). Kafka did not have to describe his belly in such a disgusting way. But it evokes an emotion in us; if we think deep enough, this is akin to when we wake up in the morning, feeling disoriented and woozy. For a second, nothing makes sense to us; we look at ourselves and ponder about who and where we
Get Access