Please explain the mood of "The Metamporphosis" by Franz Kafka.  How does this mood contribute to this story?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The mood in "The Metamorphosis" is tense (or intense) from the beginning. Gregor wakes up as the insect and the subsequent events, such as dealing with a clerk from his office and being discovered by his family are traumatic, tense situations. The entire period from the time he wakes up until Grete's violin solo and his death is one long battle to adjust to his new body and try and relate to his family, which seemed to be a problem even prior to his metamorphosis. The intensity is interrupted only once in a while. For example, there is a moment when Gregor gets control of his legs and feels a sense of physical comfort.

The mood is also gloomy and constricting. It continues to rain outside and since Gregor is confined to his room, the mood isn't just gloomy and intense; it's also claustrophobic. Being stuck in his room, Gregor is a prisoner. This is a direct parallel to his former life when he was forced to work a job he hated to provide for a family that did not appreciate him. 

It isn't until Gregor dies that the mood (and setting) changes. Gregor's mother, father and sister leave the apartment: 

Then all three left the apartment together, something they had not done for months now, and took the electric tram into the open air outside the city. The car in which they were sitting by themselves was totally engulfed by the warm sun.


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