Homework Help

In "The Metamorphosis," what is Gregor's role in the family and why does he have so...

user profile pic

june47m | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 21, 2011 at 4:09 AM via web

dislike 1 like

In "The Metamorphosis," what is Gregor's role in the family and why does he have so much responsibility?

1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

user profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 21, 2011 at 7:29 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

We are told that Gregor has the job of working as a travelling salesman so that he can support the rest of his family, his parents and his sister, who do not work. Thus his job is incredibly important to all of their well-being, which perhaps explains how upset and concerned his parents and Grete are when he is unable to get himself out of bed and misses his train at the beginning of the novel. However, it is obvious that Gregor does not enjoy his job. He feels "condemned" to work there and finds it very exhausting and soul destroying. He is an example of a man who is ground down by an impersonal job that forces him to engage in work he has little care for, yet he has no escape. Note what he "says" to his superior:

"And then, I have to take care of my parents and my sister. I'm in a tight spot, but still I'll work my way out again. So please don't make things more difficult for me than they already are."

We see a man who is forced into a job to support his dependent family without any liking for this job, yet with no escape.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes