"The Breast" - Philip Roth
"The Breast" is a novel written by Philip Roth and published in 1971.
The protagonist of the story is David Kepesh, a professor of literature and a perverse man, who turns into a huge "breast". David is therefore incapable of seeing and moving, communicating only through the word and tactile perceptions.
Initially, David rejects his dramatic condition, focusing on his sexual desire but slowly understands that he has lost his identity and that his existence has been completely upset.
Kapesh is looking for a justification for what has happened to him: he does not accept his condition that annihilates his rationality.
However, metamorphosis paradoxically allows the character to find himself through a search for his own identity that had been destroyed.
Around the protagonist there are also other minor characters: his doctor, who studies this incredible metamorphosis with scientific detachment; his father, who tenderly visits him once a week, talking to him as if in his bed there was his son as he knew and not a huge naked breast; his companion, the young Claire, does not miss her affection every day and caresses him with tenderness in her most sensitive parts, giving him the physical pleasure he craves.
Finally, Roth concludes the novel with a poem by Rilke, in which the poet invites not to the knowledge of oneself (that probably will never come, not even in the wisest); instead aspires to change for a full maturity. So, through Rilke's poetry, Roth wants to suggest us to accept us as we are and aim at maturation, and not perfection.