The Metamorphosis

by: Franz Kafka

The Mother Quotes

Quotes The Mother Quotes
Incidentally, the mother wanted to visit Gregor relatively soon but the father and the sister put her off with logical arguments that Gregor listened to very attentively and approved of wholeheartedly.

After Gregor’s transformation, Grete alone occasionally sees him under the couch. The father wants nothing to do with him, but as the narrator reveals here, the mother often asks to see him. Although she knows how shocked and potentially disgusted she might be by the sight of him, she desperately wants to see Gregor, showing that although she cannot speak to him and that he does not look the same, she still loves him.

“And doesn’t it look,” concluded the mother very softly . . . “and doesn’t it look, by removing all the furniture, like we’ve abandoned all hope of his recovery and are callously leaving him completely on his own? I think it would be best if we tried to keep the room exactly as it was before, so that when Gregor comes back to us he can find everything unchanged and forget that much more easily what happened in the meantime.”

The mother explains why she believes they should leave Gregor’s room intact rather than take out the furniture so that Gregor has more space to crawl on the walls and ceiling. While Grete wants to make Gregor as happy as possible in the moment, the mother fixates on waiting for Gregor to turn back into a human. Unlike the father and sister, and even Gregor, the mother holds on to hope that Gregor’s situation will pass.

But Grete’s words had quite unnerved the mother; she took a step to the side, took in the huge brown splotch on the flowered wallpaper, and, before realizing what she saw was actually Gregor, screamed in a loud, harsh voice: “Oh God! Oh God!” and collapsed, arms outflung in total abandon, onto the sofa and did not move.

Here, the narrator describes the moment the mother sees Gregor on the wall for the first time since his transformation. Although she has been eager to see him despite warnings from Grete and the father, the mother reacts to Gregor in horror. Despite her sympathy for Gregor and her hope that his human body will return, she cannot fathom that the bug on the wall is her own son.

“Dead?” said Frau Samsa, and looked up inquiringly at the charwoman, although she could have investigated herself and it was plain enough without examination.

After the charwoman tells the family of Gregor’s death, the mother asks for clarification. Even though the mother still feels affection for Gregor, she relies on another woman to care for him and dispose of his body, and she cannot bring herself to see her dead son.