This short novella is told in three parts...
With this startling, bizarre, yet surprisingly funny first opening, Kafka begins his masterpiece, The Metamorphosis. The opening sentence is regarded as one of the best in literature.
This novella is the story of a young man who, transformed overnight into a giant beetle-like insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family, an outsider in his own home, a quintessentially alienated man. A harrowing -- though absurdly comic -- meditation on human feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and isolation, The Metamorphosis has taken its place as one of the most widely read and influential works of twentieth-century fiction.
As W.H. Auden wrote, "Kafka is important to us because his predicament is the predicament of modern man." Not that modern man is in danger of waking as an insect, but the dissociation between mind and body is something to ponder--what makes us human?
Read it free online, thanks to the Gutenberg Project.