Five Things About... The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Want an introduction into existentialism and absurdism for your students? Here you go. 

There are so many great creative activities that can go along with this novella. Students can write prequels (what was going on with Gregor pre-transformation?), pastiches, or alternate endings. I usually give the kids the option to use imagery details from the text to create their own replica of what they interpret Gregor to look like, or a writing task. 

The text is a great way to introduce the motifs of weather and food/eating. I use chapters from How to Read Literature Like a Professor on each in a jigsaw activity that requires the students to teach each other their motif and apply it to the text.

This book lends itself to some really great conversations on materialism and capitalism, both of which I feel like my students are really opinionated about this year (and rightfully so!).

The students really get into their theories on what really happened to Gregor- is it tuberculosis? Something psychological? Kafka’s portrayal of himself? An actual bug? Anything goes… as long as there’s plenty of textual support!

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