In what specific ways does the family’s decision to "get rid" of the insect affect Gregor?

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favoritethings's profile pic

favoritethings | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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At first, when Gregor hears his sister say that "It's got to go" -- the "it" here being Gregor -- he simply attempts to turn around and return to his bedroom.  The turning around is an exhausting and violent process, achieved only by Gregor's striking his head against the floor repeatedly to help move his body in the right direction, and once he does turn back toward his room, he looks back only once and sees that nothing has changed.  His family still looks miserable, though the knowledge of their misery has quite a different effect on him now than it used to.  It used to make him feel guilty and depressed, but there are no descriptions of that kind now.  Instead, he now discovers that he can no longer move, physically, but that he feels "relatively comfortable."  Though he aches all over, he can barely feel that rotten apple lodged in his back or the inflamed and grimy area surrounding it.  Remarkably, "He thought back on his family with emotion and love."  He seems to bear them no ill will, despite their wishing him gone and their failure to recognize that he is still Gregor.  Gregor actually wishes, "even more strongly than his sister" that he could go away, and it is with a feeling of peacefulness that he watches the sun rise and his life ebbs away.

kschweiz's profile pic

kschweiz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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Gregor's sister, Grete, is the first character to insist that Gregor must be removed. One day, she plays for paying lodgers at their home, and Gregor comes forward, drawn by the music. The patrons see him and indignantly declare that they will not pay for their stay, so Grete decides the family should rid themselves of the insect. She states that if it was, indeed, Gregor, he would not punish them by driving away their paying clientele. She suggests that because he is inflicting this upon them, he must not be Gregor any longer. Gregor takes this to heart, returns to his room, and dies in the morning. This has a bolstering effect on the family, as they evict the lodgers and start to see things from a brighter viewpoint, perhaps indicating that the state of their son had left a dark stain on their outlook.

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