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The Metamorphosis is a novel by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into a monstrous insect-like creature. This is not a horror story, but it is the story of the horror of a man who, asleep in bed in the family home, wakes to find that overnight he has turned into a beetle. He retains the mind and soul of a man but in his repulsive form the family confines him to the bedroom. The story is told entirely from the beetle's viewpoint—not so much in the 'first person' as in the 'first beetle'. He has to get up to go to work, he is the only wage-earner in the family; yet he cannot go, trapped in bed on his back, his little legs waving in the air. The vividness of the prose, even in translation, makes you feel that this would no doubt be exactly what it would be like for a man to live in the body of a beetle. Kafka's work has excited much critical comment from the literary world, who have published whole books discussing its symbolism.