The Metamorphosis Study Guide

Welcome to The Metamorphosis study guide! Here, we’ll explore the genre in which the novella is written. You will also learn about Kafka’s influences and the historical background of the novella.

Find out some useful information about The Metamorphosis setting, the plot, the main themes, and symbols. 

The Metamorphosis Key Facts  

Full Name  The Metamorphosis 
Author  Franz Kafka 
Genre  Magic Realism   
Date of Publishing   1915  
Setting (Time)  No specific timing   
Setting (Place)  The Samsa’s apartment   

The Metamorphosis Articles

The Metamorphosis: Summary and Analysis

The Metamorphosis is a short story written by Franz Kafka, which was first published in 1915. One of his best-known works, it tells a story about a man called Gregor Samsa and his peculiar transformation. He and his family have to deal with the consequences…

The Metamorphosis: Characters

The novella The Metamorphosis focuses on two main characters Gregor and Grete. However, two more heroes are present in every chapter throughout the novella, Mrs. Samsa and Mr. Samsa.

The Metamorphosis: Themes

There are several overarching themes in The Metamorphosis, but only two are crucial. The story starts when the central transformation has already happened. However, each character in the novella goes through its journey: Gregor, Grete, Gregor’s mother, and Gregor’s father. In this article, you’ll see…

The Metamorphosis: Symbols

Since its publication in 1915, Kafka’s The Metamorphosis puzzled readers and critics all over the world. The story centers around Gregor Samsa’s transformation into a gigantic insect. The situation is both surreal and unusual. However, the writer proceeds with the story in a realistic manner.

The Metamorphosis: Essay Topics & Samples

The Metamorphosis is one of Kafka’s best-known books. It is also one of the most intricate literary pieces in world literature. This is why coming up with an excellent The Metamorphosis essay topic can be challenging. The following list can help you to get started.

Historical Context of The Metamorphosis  

Different philosophical movements influenced Kafka’s books. The world at the beginning of the 20th century when the author lived was rapidly changing. It was a period of mass modernization and technological breakthroughs. In The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Gregor lives the life of a modern 20th-century man. His life is tuned according to the train timetable. He hates his job but has to persevere in supporting his family.

Gregor’s transformation into an insect poses crucial existential questions. They were prevalent at the beginning of the 20th century, so Franz Kafka had no choice but to pose them. For example, philosophers like Kierkegaard and Nietzsche are associated with existential movements. Their works had a critical influence on Kafka’s books, as well as Sigmund Freud. Freud argued that suppressed desires and fear could manifest themselves in dreams. That’s probably why Kafka’s The Metamorphosis resembles a nightmare that can represent Greg’s subconscious.    

Franz Kafka’s personality and life were incorporated into the novella, affecting its tone and themes. For instance, not many people know that Kafka’s long-distance relationships inspired the writing. He met Felice Bauer in 1912 and fell desperately in love with her. These relationships were painful and one-sided. It exacerbated the feeling of loneliness and isolation, which Kafka experienced all his life. Besides, he was a German-speaking person who lived in Prague, a Jew among Gentiles, so to say. He always tried but failed to fit in. The relationships with his father were also not the best. Just like Gregor Samsa, Kafka always felt as a burden for his family and to his father in particular.

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