How does Gregor die?

Upon hearing that his sister, Grete, thinks they should get rid of him (referring to him as "it"), Gregor starves himself to death and fades away in The Metamorphosis.

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The opening of Kafka'sThe Metamorphosis is dramatic and memorable, but its ending is much more low-key. Given the way in which the Samsas quickly lose sympathy for Gregor and come to regard him as a burden, one might expect them to end the story by killing him. In a...

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The opening of Kafka's The Metamorphosis is dramatic and memorable, but its ending is much more low-key. Given the way in which the Samsas quickly lose sympathy for Gregor and come to regard him as a burden, one might expect them to end the story by killing him. In a sense, they do, but not by using physical violence. Grete, whose responsibility it has been to take care of Gregor, suggests that they must get rid of "it" somehow. Hearing this, Gregor loses the will to live and starves himself. He collapses and dies during the night after wasting away.

There is clearly a symbolic aspect to this form of death. It is effectively suicide, though it is caused by the passivity of failing to eat rather than some dramatic self-slaughter. However, the real cause of death is the withdrawal of affection by Grete and the rest of the family. Even though she initially insisted on looking after him, Grete has made it clear how much her brother disgusts her after his transformation. Deprived of any human connection, and understanding that it would be a relief to his family if he were to disappear, Gregor does just that and fades away as unobtrusively as he can.

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