In Kafka's The Metamorphosis, how would you describe the cleaning woman's responses to Gregor when she first comes into the house?

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, the cleaning woman's responses to Gregor at the beginning are something of a surprise. While his family is completely repulsed by him, the cleaning lady is not even startled when she first sees him. 

Without being in the least inquisitive, she had once accidentally opened the door of Gregor's room, and at the sight of Gregor...she had remained standing, with her hands folded on her stomach, marveling. 

The cleaning woman then made a habit of going to the door of Gregor's room and opening it each day, once in the morning and once at night. Then she started talking to him:

In the beginning she also used to call him over to her with words she probably considered friendly, like, "Come over here for a minute, you old dung beetle!"

The manner in which the cleaning woman responds to Gregor when she first comes into the house might be described as stoic, tolerant or even friendly (though the things she says to him are strange). The narrator uses the word "marveling" when he describes her response at her first sight of Gregor. Other related words that come to mind are amazement, fascination and awe. These words are positive in nature. Very different from the manner in which the family responds to Gregor, the cleaning lady seems to be perfectly calm and unphased by the sight of the giant bug living in one of the bedrooms when she first comes into the household.

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The Metamorphosis

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