A traveling salesman and the protagonist of the story. Gregor hates his job but keeps it because of the obligations he feels to pay off his father’s debt and care for his family. He has transformed into a large bug and spends the rest of his life in that state. Although hideous and unrecognizable to others, Gregor retains his some of his inner life and struggles to reconcile his lingering humanity with his physical condition.
An elderly widow and the Samsa family’s cleaning lady. Taken on by the Samsas after their regular maid quits because of Gregor, she is a blunt, honest woman who faces the reality of Gregor’s state without fear or disgust.
Gregor’s boss. Distrustful and overbearing, the office manager insinuates that Gregor has been doing a poor job at work. He flees in terror upon seeing Gregor.
Three temporary boarders in the Samsas’ house. The boarders greatly value order and cleanliness, and thus become horrified when they discover Gregor.
The Samsas’ original maid. She is terrified by Gregor and begs the family to fire her.