Despite Gregor's worsening health in Part 3 of "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka, what solace does Gregor find?  Why is this significant to Gregor?

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Part III of "The Metamorphosis," the apple in Gregor's side has almost completely disabled him. Gregor notices that even his father has begun to show him some sign of pity and Gregor recognizes that his father had resolved to be more patient with his transformed, disabled son. So there is some solace there. 

Gregor also finds solace in the evenings because he can now listen to the family's conversations. In fact, the narrator says this makes up for his worsening condition. 

-yet in his own opinion he was sufficiently compensated for this worsening of his condition by the fact that toward evening the living-room door, which he used to watch intently for an hour or two beforehand, was always thrown open, so that lying in the darkness of his room, invisible to the family, he could see them all at the lamp-lit table and listen to their talk, by general consent as it were, very different from his earlier eavesdropping. 

Despite the fact that his family had been neglecting him (and that they had taken advantage of him prior to the metamorphosis), Gregor enjoys this part of the day. And even though he is stuck in his room, it's as if he was a part of this family. Not to mention, since Gregor could no longer provide for the family, the mother had taken a sewing job and Grete had taken a job as a salesgirl. In a way, that burden which used to be his was now lifted. He would watch his mother sew. His sister was learning French. And his father, after a long day at work, would fall into a peaceful nap in his chair. Gregor had a new personal burden but the burden of his family was now off of his shoulders and on theirs.

Perhaps this was the image Gregor had always wanted for his family. So, it came at a fatal cost to himself, but maybe it gave him some solace. 

Read the study guide:
The Metamorphosis

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