The Metamorphosis

by: Franz Kafka

The Father

Naturally it did not occur to the father in his present mood to open the other wing of the door to give Gregor a wide enough passage. He was fixed on the idea of getting Gregor back in his room as quickly as possible.

The narrator describes the scene after Gregor attempts to follow the head clerk to prevent him from leaving. As the father drives Gregor back into his room, Gregor notes that he can’t fit through the double-door without someone else opening the other wing. While Gregor remains completely conscious of his surroundings and continues thinking just as he used to, his father now only views him as an insect that must be hidden away.

It was clear to Gregor that the father had misinterpreted Grete’s all too brief statement and assumed Gregor was guilty of some kind of violence.

The narrator provides insight into the moment after Gregor’s mother faints from seeing Gregor. Without asking for clarification, the father comes after Gregor, assuming that Gregor’s disgusting physical body reflects a disgusting character as well. He no longer seems to see Gregor as his son.

He probably did not know what he himself intended to do, nevertheless he lifted his feet unusually high and Gregor was astonished at the gigantic size of his boot soles. But Gregor did not dwell on this; he had known from the very first day of his new life that the father considered only the strictest measures appropriate when dealing with him.

Gregor makes surprisingly unemotional observations while his father attacks him. In the midst of his father’s violence toward him, he marvels at the size of his father’s feet, an observation possibly motivated by a crawling bug’s survival instinct. He reflects that he has seen this moment coming since the first day of his transformation. The father’s immediate desire to be rid of Gregor shows how little sympathy he has.

Not until the two women pulled him up under the arms would he open his eyes and look back and forth from the mother to the sister, with the customary remark: “What a life. This is the rest of my old age.”

The father remarks on the state of his life as the mother and Grete lead him from his chair to his bed. Before Gregor’s transformation, the father stayed at home, but now he must work again and seems exhausted by the time he gets home. Not only does the father not have his son Gregor to provide for him and his family anymore, but he also must deal with Gregor’s continued burdensome existence. His words and actions reflect his resentment of the situation.

Herr Samsa, who realized that she was eager to begin describing the details, cut her short with a definitive gesture of his hand.

Here, the narrator describes the father’s reaction when the charwoman tries to explain more about Gregor’s death. As she begins to explain that she took care of Gregor’s body, the father cuts her off. The father doesn’t care to hear any more about the insect he never seemed to see as his son.