The Metamorphosis

by: Franz Kafka

Transformation

1

Upon hearing the mother’s words, Gregor realized that the lack of any direct human exchange, coupled with the monotony of the family’s life, must have confused his mind; he could not otherwise explain to himself how he could have seriously wished to have his room cleared out.

Gregor’s thoughts show a recovery of his former self, jogged by hearing the mother’s hope for his return to being a human. The sister proposes to remove the furniture to accommodate Gregor the bug’s need for more space to move around the walls and ceiling. The mother disagrees and says that Gregor the human will want his belongings. Gregor had been grateful for the removal of the furniture, but once he hears his mother’s opinion, he remembers how much he cared for his possessions. Gregor’s contradiction in feelings shows that his new form changed him both physically and mentally.

2

He had not at all pictured his father like this as he was standing there now; admittedly he had been too preoccupied of late with his newly discovered crawling to concern himself about what was going on in the household, and he really should have been prepared for some changes. And yet, and yet could this indeed still be the father?

Gregor comments on how his father has undergone his own transformation. While Gregor was preoccupied with his new mode of life, his father had changed. He recalls his father as weak and soft-spoken, not at all like the strong, alert man who takes charge of Gregor. Even though Gregor expected some changes in his family, Gregor finds the conversion of the near invalid to the energetic figure shocking. Not only has Gregor changed, but his new form has caused his family members to change in reaction.

3

His growing lack of concern for the others hardly surprised him, whereas previously he had prided himself on being considerate.

Gregor reflects on how his attitude altered after his transformation. Gregor hears his sister playing the violin and ventures out of his room to listen to the music, even though he knows his appearance would shock the gathered boarders. Here, he recalls that he would never have done such a thing as a human but doesn’t find this change surprising. Not only has Gregor’s physical appearance become disgusting to others, but his character has become more repulsive and less humanlike as well.