In The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, why did Gregor's dad throw apples to Gregor and what is the symbolic meaning?

In The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Gregor's dad throws apples at him because he wrongly thinks that he attacked his mother. The apple could be said to symbolize the beginning of exile, which is what it meant for Adam and Eve in Paradise. They were expelled from the Garden of Eden after eating the forbidden fruit. His eyes opened by this act of paternal violence, Gregor realizes that he too is now an exile from his own household.

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Mr. Samsa's actions show us that he no longer regards Gregor as his son. All he sees before him is a giant insect creature that creeps him out whenever he lays eyes on him. To Mr. Samsa, Gregor is now a threat, a real and present danger to his family. As such, he must be put firmly in his place at every opportunity.

When Gregor's mother looks at his revolting appearance, she faints with the shock. Instead of trying to ascertain what's happened, Mr. Samsa automatically assumes that Gregor must've attacked her. Feeling scared of what his son has become, Mr. Samsa attacks him with the nearest thing to hand: apples. This way he doesn't have to get too close to the hideous creature.

Nonetheless, the apples still hurt Gregor, both emotionally and physically. One of them lodges painfully in his back and he's unable to remove it. For the first time since his grotesque transformation, Gregor now sees himself as others see him. He now understands that he has effectively been exiled from his own...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 928 words.)

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