Franz Kafka’s surreal tale of Gregor Samsa, who wakes up one day as a cockroach, has intrigued young adult readers for generations. The antihero of The Metamorphosis becomes a pariah when his insect carapace prevents him for talking, eating normally, and joining in the activities of work and family life. His sister Grete and parents try to take care of him, but the strain wears them down, as does the lack of income they used to have from Gregor’s job as a salesman. Gregor has to be hidden from the boarders, and suffers the shame and alienation that is part of his condition. One day, Gregor creeps out of his room, observing that his family is falling apart, and all because of his condition. A few days later, he dies, apparently having willed himself to expire, and the lives of his sister and parents quickly improve. With pathos and irony, Samsa's powerful novel explores the role of money, family responsibilities, guilt, and alienation.