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The Metamorphosis

by Franz Kafka
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What are the three attempts that Gregor makes to return to humanity in The Metamorphosis?

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Three attempts that Gregor makes to return to humanity, or at least retain his humanity, include his determination to continue working, his clinging to human objects (his picture on the wall), and his desire to hear Grete play her violin. Let's look at each of these in more detail.

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Three attempts that Gregor makes to return to humanity, or at least retain his humanity, include his determination to continue working, his clinging to human objects (his picture on the wall), and his desire to hear Grete play her violin. Let's look at each of these in more detail.

Gregor Samsa awakes one morning to find that his body has been transformed into that of a giant insect. Although he is alarmed and initially hopes it is a dream, he still tries to rise for work in the morning. Gregor hates his job, but knows he must make money for his family and tries to go. He even tries to explain what has happened to the chief clerk, who has showed up to find Gregor. Gregor also attempts to comfort his mother. Despite his physical change, Gregor tries to maintain human emotions and duties. He is willing to still go to work if it means providing for his family.

In part 2, Grete and Mrs. Samsa try to move furniture out of Gregor's room to allow more space for movement. Gregor fears if they remove all human furniture from his room, he will lose his humanity. He clings to the picture on the wall, refusing to let them take it. The picture reminds Gregor of his job. He latches on to the picture physically and emotionally as an attempt to hang on to humanity.

In part 3, men rent a room in the household. One night, Grete plays her violin for them, and Gregor sticks his head out the door to listen to the music. Gregor once hoped to earn enough money to help send Grete to a music conservatory. He would like her to play for him in his room. When the boarders see him, they are very alarmed, and Gregor overhears his family talking about how to get rid of him.

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