The Barbarian Book Club: Book of the Month (March 2021): The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka

Greetings Barbarians! Long days and pleasant nights!

A man is as good as dead if he cannot bear the weight of his existence. I often joke about choosing death when the time comes that I lose my ability to wipe my ass. I cannot bear the idea of someone taking care of me. The idea of being unable to clean up after me sickens me. 

Last February, I saw a copy of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. I swiftly took the opportunity and bought it. 

The Metamorphosis is a novella written by Franz Kafka and published in 1915. It is one of the author’s outstanding works. 

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Now, let us continue with today’s topic!

It tells the story of Gregor Samsa as he wakes up one day as a vermin. It revolves around his struggles as he adjusts to his situation. 

No man ever wants to wake up with everything he worked for gone.

But circumstances like this happen. 

Gregor Samsa is a traveling salesman and the sole breadwinner of his family. He despises his job and would quit as soon as he could find other means to make money if not for his father’s debt. One morning, Gregor woke up to find himself turned into a monstrous vermin. Unable to get up from his bed, he first thought that his conditions would be temporary. 

His sudden incapacitation stripped his family of financial stability. To secure their livelihood, the family accepts tenants into their household. Neglected, Gregor clings to few comforts to survive. His family is becoming tiresome of his situation and tries to get rid of him. 

Gregor, knowing that he is no longer wanted, dies before sunrise. 

The family, relieved of the burden, is optimistic and decides to move on with their lives.

As someone who asked for help in saving his house, I can relate to the helplessness. I asked for help; while some are generous, it also angered a few. If I can do something about it, I would not ask for help. It is as painful to me as it is humiliating.

What a man does is who he is, it sounds terrible, but that is the truth. A man’s worth is his use. The Metamorphosis is an astonishing book that reflects that reality. It is bleak and dreary, which is why I recommend it.

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Maraming salamat at mahal ko kayo!

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To Courage and Freedom, and Franz Kafka.

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