Stories of Franz Kafka Quotes

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Stories of Franz Kafka Quotes

The Metamorphosis - Chapter 1

Quote 1: "When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin. He was lying on his back as hard as armor plate, and when he lifted his head a little, he saw his vaulted brown belly, sectioned by arch-shaped ribs, to whose dome the cover, about to slide off completely, could barely cling. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, were waving helplessly before his eyes." The Metamorphosis, Chapter 1, pg. 3

Quote 2: "Why was only Gregor condemned to work for a firm where at the slightest omission they immediately suspected the worst? Were all employees louts without exception, wasn't there a single loyal, dedicated worker among them who, when he had not fully utilized a few hours of the morning for the firm, was driven half-mad by pangs of conscience and was actually unable to get out of bed?" The Metamorphosis, Chapter 1, pg. 9

Quote 3: "And now he could see him, standing closest to the door, his hand pressed over his open mouth, slowly backing away, as if repulsed by an invisible, unrelenting force. His mother - in spite of the manager's presence she stood with her hair still unbraided from the night, sticking out in all directions - first looked at his father with her hands clasped, then took two steps towards Gregor, and sank down in the midst of her skirt spreading out around her, her face completely hidden on her breast. With a hostile expression his father clenched his fist, as if to drive Gregor back into his room, then looked uncertainly around the living room, shielded his eyes with his hands, and sobbed with heaves of his powerful chest." The Metamorphosis, Chapter 1, pg. 15

The Metamorphosis - Chapter 2

Quote 4: "Those had been wonderful times, and they had never returned, at least not with the same glory, although later on Gregor earned enough money to meet the expenses of the entire family and actually did so. They had just gotten used to it, the family as well as Gregor, the money was received with thanks and given with pleasure." The Metamorphosis, Chapter 2, pg. 27

Quote 5: "Hardly she entered the room than she would run straight to the window without taking time to close the door - though she was usually so careful to spare everyone the sight of Gregor's room - then tear open the casements with eager hands, almost as if she were suffocating, and remain for a little while at the window even in the coldest weather, breathing deeply. With this racing and crashing, she frightened Gregor twice a day; the whole time he cowered under the couch, and yet he knew very well that she would certainly have spared him this if only she had found it possible to stand being in a room with him with the window closed." The Metamorphosis, Chapter 2, pg. 30

Quote 6: "Into a room in which Gregor ruled the bare walls all alone, no human being beside Grete was ever likely to set foot." The Metamorphosis, Chapter 2, pg. 34

The Metamorphosis - Chapter 3

Quote 7: "Gregor's serious wound, from which he suffered for over a month - the apple remained imbedded in his flesh as a visible souvenir since no one dared to remove it - seemed to have reminded even his father that Gregor was a member of the family, in spite of his present pathetic and repulsive shape, who could not be treated as an enemy; that on the contrary, it was the commandment of family duty to swallow their disgust and endure him, endure him and nothing more." The Metamorphosis, Chapter 3, pg. 40

Quote 8: "What the world demands of poor people they did to the utmost of their ability; his father brought breakfast for the minor officials at the bank, his mother sacrificed herself to the underwear of strangers, his sister ran back and forth behind the counter at the request of the customers; but for anything more than this they did not have the strength." The Metamorphosis, Chapter 3, pg. 42

Quote 9: "I won't pronounce the name of my brother in front of this monster, and so all I say is: we have to try and get rid of it. We've done everything humanly possible to take care of it and to put up with it; I don't think anyone can blame us in the least." The Metamorphosis, Chapter 3, pg. 51

Quote 10: "Growing quieter and communicating almost unconsciously through glances, they thought that it would soon be time, too, to find her a good husband. And it was like a confirmation of their new dreams and good intentions when at the end of the ride their daughter got up first and stretched her young body." The Metamorphosis, Chapter 3, pg. 58

First Sorrow

Quote 11: "A trapeze artist - this art, practiced high in the domes of the great variety theaters, is acknowledged to be one of the most difficult within men's reach - had arranged his life, at first simply out of perfectionism, but later also from the force of a habit which has grown tyrannical, in such a way that he remained, for the whole period of each engagement, day and night on his trapeze." First Sorrow, pg. 182

A Little Woman

Quote 12: "Now this little woman is highly dissatisfied with me, she always has some fault to find with me, I am always doing her an injustice, I annoy her at every turn; if it were possible to divide up one's life into the smallest of its parts and judge each part separately, there is no doubt that she would find every smallest part of my own life offensive. I have often wondered why it is that I should offend her so; it may be that everything about me runs counter to her aesthetic feelings, her sense of justice, her habits, her traditions, her hopes - such mutually incompatible natures do exist, but why does this cause her so much pain?" A Little Woman, pg. 185

A Fasting-artist

Quote 13: "Just try to explain to someone what the art of fasting is. No one who does not feel it can be made to grasp what it means. The beautiful placards became dirty and illegible, they were ripped down, no one thought of replacing them; the little board showing the tally of days fasted, which at first had been scrupulously changed each day, had now long stayed unaltered, for after the first few weeks the staff had grown weary of even this little task; and so the fasting-artist did indeed go fasting on, as he had once dreamed of doing, but no one counted the days, no one, not even the fasting-artist himself, knew how great his achievement was, and his hearty grew heavy. And once in a while some casual passer-by should stop, ridicule the outdated number of the board and talk about fraudulence, that in its way the stupidest lie that ever indifference and inborn malice could invent, for it was not the fasting-artist who was cheating, he was working honestly, but the world was cheating him out of his reward." A Fasting-artist, pp. 199-200

Josephine, the Songstress or: The Mouse People

Quote 14: "Sometimes I have the impression that our people sees its relationship with Josephine rather like this: that she, this fragile, vulnerable, somehow distinguished creature, in her opinion distinguished by her song, has been entrusted to us and that we must look after her; the reason for this is not clear to anyone, only the fact seems to be established. But what has been entrusted to one's care one does not laugh at; to do so would be a beach of duty; the utmost spite that the most spiteful amongst us can vent on Josephine is when they sometimes say: 'When we see Josephine it is no laughing matter.'" Josephine, pg. 106-107

Quote 15: "So perhaps we shall not miss so very much after all, while Josephine, for her part, delivered from earthly afflictions, which however to her mind are the privilege of chosen spirits, will happily lose herself in the countless throng of the heroes of our people, and soon, since we pursue no history, be accorded the heightened deliverance of being forgotten along with all her brethren." Josephine, pg. 116

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