What would you do if you woke up and you were a cockroach?

I’ve been meaning to read Kafka for ages – so I can just drop the fact that I’ve read his stuff casually into conversations and become even more popular than I already am. Well now I’ve got a Kindle and I’m not afraid to use it, so I bought Kafka’s entire works for $2.50, which is kind of an insult to him come to think of it.

So, Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

This guy wakes up in the morning, and he’s a cockroach. His first thought is, damn, I’ve slept in! What will the boss think when I don’t catch the early morning train! How will I support my aged parents and lovely younger sister?

Because the thing is, he awakes on his back, and it takes him at least till the end of the first chapter to get onto his little cockroach legs, and that not without banging his poor little head and making cockroachly ooze come out.  Also the boss is extremely strict about these things (lateness, I mean, not ooze).

Well, he DOES get sacked – surprise surprise – but throughout most of the story he isn’t really thinking ‘Oh God, how awful, I’m a cockroach!’. No, he’s thinking things like, ‘I’m hungry’, and ‘how nice and cosy it is under the couch’, and ‘why won’t they let me sit at the dinner table any more?’.

As for his family, after they get over their initial fright at being confronted by a jaw-snapping, pus-oozing and presumably over-sized cockroach who is somehow recognisable as their boy, they start feeding him rancid scraps and re-decorating his room, bug style.  It’s not that long, though, before even his dad wants to step on him.

Eventually..well I won’t spoil it but the thing is, this is a very odd story. I mean, if YOU woke up and you were a cockroach, wouldn’t you be thinking about other things than being late for work? But, he does have a lot of fun running over the walls and ceilings.

If you HAD to wake up as a creature, what creature would you be? I would be a magpie, because it’d be an outlet for my natural viciousness (where I live, they spend a lot of time swooping bicyclists, well I don’t like bicyclists much either..).


  1. Rose, next time I see you I’m going to run over you with my bicycle, cause I really hate swooping magpies… But you’d be a very attractive magpie I think, as black really suits you 🙂


    P.s. I’d want to be reborn as an otter, they look so cute, with they great big whiskers (I love beards), and seem like they have such a lot of fun laying around in the sun and splashing in and out of the water… Although a diet of slimey fish and other stuff might be a bit of an issue!

    Here is some otters being really cute… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epUk3T2Kfno

  2. Yeah it’s a weird one. The whole rotting apple thing threw me. I did notice one weird little phrase near the end. As he dies, he says that his head “sinks down” or words to that effect depending on the translation. But of course cockroaches can’t do that. I’m not sure what that means tbh. As a cockroach I would probably wander up to the nearest university so they could analyse me, or give me an enormous fridge to hide under.

    1. Yeah parts of it seem a bit odd. Like, how come his family recognise him? If you saw a monster cockroach, would you automatically think ‘god that looks like my big brother’! If you were a cockroach, at least you’d know to avoid cockroach bait under the fridge.

  3. Good one, very Kafkaesque, which wouldn’t be hard writing about Kafka I guess, haha. I think I would want to be an eagle or a hawk. The soaring thing is cool.

    1. Oh yeah, that would be very cool! I wouldn’t want to eat the poor little rabbits..but apart from that, where I live, I could fly up over the mountains, it would be just wonderful!

  4. I’ve been meaning to read Kafka but now maybe I won’t, or I’ll put it off some more. A cockroach. Ugh. I would like to come back as a CAT: rule the roost, sleep all day, primp all day and KILL cockroaches!

    Great post.

    1. Actually I wonder if you have to be Eastern European to really enjoy Kafka – I didn’t. I think a cat’d be awfully nice too. I’m inclined to agree with you – just lie around in the warm, think about stuff but not do anything, eat…

  5. OK, first EW! BUT, i’m so impressed … you ARE so popular.

    First I’d find something more delicious to eat than garbage and odd things found under the sink! Yes, and i’d run amok and scare everyone i could find. I run over their feet and hide under their pillow and nibble on their ears whilst they slept. Yes, i might … maybe … i’m no carnivore. jeesh.

    What would i beeeeeee? I’d be MY DOG! I’d come back as Harper, and Harper would be my owner and we’d have great fun. He would serve me “people” food and we’d get along just fine.

    🙂 I’m an idiot! xo melis

    1. It’s funny, they try to feed him human food but he doesn’t like it so finally his sister comes up with the idea of feeding him rotten stuff. Yes, being a happy, bouncy dog with a nice owner would be just great! Maybe next life, huh!

    1. IF he’s thinking. Nah, I think that would be a great choice – just play around and chew stuff up all day! Also, you might get to find out what his superpowers really are!

      1. It’s possible he spends 6 hours saving the world, then comes home and chews up stuff to make us think that is what he spends all day doing. Yep. I’m sure that’s what’s going on.

      1. No not Doe but I’m not going to reveal all! Actually I forget that my real name’s not Rose, cause it is on my hotmail and it’s sort of become my ‘other’ name – that’s what happens when you disguise yourself, you forget what you really look like. Is a Jane different from a Rose?

      2. I think Rose is the equivalent of Jane in America and maybe Canada. I don’t know much about Canada though. It IS after all a different part of North America regardless of what the greedy American’s think! 😉

      3. Oops! DUH! Just remember which one you are … there are lots of four letter words out there!!! Just sayin …

      4. Well, perhaps behind your back 🙂 .

        PLEASE … a “blog” mistake. I’m not that fragile. I may be challenged, but not weak.

    1. Really? Fear of roaches? I’d hate one to crawl on me, Sydney is full of them, but don’t have a phobia. I AM glad I read it – but it seems a bit odd to me. The book, that is, cause he’s so,sort of, laid back about it all.

      1. Yes. I think the characters ability to be so laid back is cultural. They have a completely different take on life so waking up as a giant bug was probably a shock but was still maybe seen as a test in his life. I really did like that book alot. Really makes you think about how you handle yourself in touch situations.

  6. Probably most people’s reaction when they see a cockroach is to kill it….probably wouldn’t be a very good way to go thru life. I would want to come back as my dog, Tramp….he’s got a very good life. I am up early this morning, despite it being a holiday, because of his demands for breakfast!

    1. I guess most cockroaches go through life without ever being seen by people though – there isn’t any creature that has absolutely NO danger in its life (if there were, I’d be it). Yeah, I agree, a well-treated dog has a great time of it.

  7. Interesting post! To answer your Title question, ‘What would you do if you woke up and you were a cockroach?’…say my prayers and run like hell!!!! Only because my friend will attempt to kill me once he wakes up!!! LOL!!! 🙂

  8. I would realize that I was having a Kafka nightmare, unable to return to sleep, I would get up and write about it… As a therapist, I am used to analyzing dreams.

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