1. What does Gregor discover when he wakes up in the morning?
When Gregor wakes up in the morning, he discovers he has transformed into a human-sized bug. He has many legs and a hard shell for a back, like a beetle.
2. How does Gregor feel about his job?
Gregor does not like his job, but he puts up with it for his family. He takes care of his mother, father, and sister by himself since he is the only one working. If he wasn’t the only one supporting his family, he would have quit a while ago.
3. What are Gregor’s complaints about his job?
Gregor’s complaints about his job are that he must work everyday. He must travel and has the stress of switching trains. He eats terrible food all the time and does not see familiar people much, which is why his relationships are brief or not very intimate.
4. If he hates his job so much, why doesn’t he quit?
He doesn’t quit because his parents are in debt to his employer. Also, he is the only one supporting his mother, father, and sister.
5. What is Gregor’s role in his family?
Gregor’s role in his family is the working person. He brings in the only income, which they all live off of.
6. How does Gregor manage to open the door?
Gregor manages to open the door by turning the key with his mouth, which was difficult because he no longer had a human mouth with teeth. Once he unlocks the door, he opens it by pushing the handle down with his head.
7. What happens to Gregor when he leaves his room to meet the office manager? What does this episode reveal about Gregor’s father?
When Gregor leaves his room to meet the office manager, his father stomps his feet and uses the manager’s cane and a newspaper to threaten Gregor and push him to retreat to his room. Gregor is injured when trying to get through his room door because he does not have enough space and with his father threatening him, did not have the time to get through safely. This episode reveals that Gregor’s father sees Gregor as a pest. Before, Gregor had value to him as a money source, but now Gregor loses that value. His father’s reaction shows that Gregor and him likely did not have a very good relationship.
8. How does his mother react?
Gregor’s mother starts to walk toward Gregor but falls down before she reaches him. She is very shocked and worried about Gregor.
9. From Gregor’s point of view what might be some positive aspects of the metamorphosis into an insect?
Some positive aspects of Gregor’s metamorphosis into an insect might be that he no longer has to go to work at a job he hates. The burden of taking care of his family is taken off his shoulders. His metamorphosis also shows Gregor the people who truly care for him in his life and who will stick with him after his transformation.
10. What circumstances in Gregor’s life might have caused him to feel dehumanized even before the metamorphosis took place?
Constantly working to support his family at a job he hated everyday might have caused Grego to feel dehumanized even before the metamorphosis took place. His father only saw him as someone who was bringing in money instead of the person he was. He did not form any intimate or long lasting relationships because he was always moving. This detachment contributed to his feelings of dehumanization.
1. What food does Grete first bring to Gregor, which, to his surprise, he does not like?
Grete first brings to Gregor a bowl of milk with small white bread slices in it. Milk was Gregor’s favorite drink before his transformation, but now he does not like it.
2. While Grete seems concerned for Gregor’s health, what do Mr. Samsa and Mrs. Samsa seem most concerned about?
Mr. Samsa and Mrs. Samsa seem most concerned about the family’s financial situation and how they will live now that Gregor is no longer working and bringing in money.
3. What does Gregor’s father reveal about the family’s financial status? What is Gregor’s reaction when he learns the truth about their finances?
Gregor’s father reveals that the family has a small amount of money from his old business and it has increased slightly with interest. He also reveals that the monthly money from Gregor was never fully spent so that money added up to a good sum. Gregor is delighted and happy when he learns the truth about their finances because it means that his family will be okay for a time until they figure out a plan.
4. What does Gregor do to prevent Grete from seeing him?
To prevent Grete for seeing him, Gregor hides under the couch when she enters the room, and he begins to use a sheet to cover himself as well.
5. What is Gregor’s response when Grete decides to remove the furniture from his room? What does this response tell you about him?
When Grete decides to remove the furniture from him room, Gregor feels as though his old human life is being completely taken away from him. He becomes protective of the furniture because it is a link to his previous life. This response shows that Gregor misses what he used to have, even if he wasn’t very grateful for it at the time he had it.
6. In what way do Grete and Mrs. Samsa disagree about the arrangement of Gregor’s room?
Grete believes that they should remove all the furniture, except for the couch, so that Gregor has more space to move around and climb. Mrs. Samsa, on the other hand, thinks they should leave all the furniture in his room and keep everything there the same so it does not seem to Gregor that he is being abandoned or that his family has given up hope that his condition will improve.
7. How is Gregor wounded? What symbolic significance might the object that wounds him have?
Gregor is wounded when his father throws apples at him because he is outside of his room. The apples might symbolize his family’s repulsion towards him.
8. Why do we know his sister’s first name?
We know his sister’s first name because she is the one closest to Gregor, both relationship wise and likely in age. She cares for Gregor and keeps him fed when the rest of the family will not.
9. A person changed into an animal, or vice versa, is a common theme of fairy tales. In what ways is The Metamorphosis similar to fairy tales you know? In what ways is it different?
The Metamorphosis is similar to fairy tales in that a seemingly magical transformation takes place. The character then learns valuable lessons about life, like in The Princess and the Frog. This is true in the Metamorphosis as well. So far, Gregor learns that the people who truly care about him will find a way past their repulsion to help him or visit him. The Metamorphosis is also different from fairy tales because the characters usually turn back into humans at then end and have a happily ever after. Prior knowledge of the book tells us that this will not happen as Gregor dies at the end.
10. What words would you use to describe Kafka’s style? Does his writing remind you of other books you have read, music you have heard, or films you have seen?
I would describe Kafka’s style as detailed and surrealistic. Kafka writes in great detail for each scene in long sentences with many semicolons. His style is surrealistic because he writes about an impossible event, which is Gregor’s metamorphosis, in a realistic way. Kafka’s writing reminds me of Lord of the Flies because the writing is very descriptive in both and the styles are similar. Also, in both books, some major event alters the way the characters live.