The Metamorphosis Questions and Answers
by Franz Kafka

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What is Gregor's initial reaction to his metamorphosis into an insect in The Metamorphosis

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Gregor is rather placid when he firsts awakes to learn he has turned into an insect. Instead of screaming in horror or despairing, he tries to go back to sleep. He is unable to do so because he only sleeps on his right side and now that he is an insect, he cannot position himself that way. He also thinks about how much he hates his job as a traveling salesman and how grueling the work is since it forces him to get up so early that he is never able to get enough sleep.

Gregor's wanting to fall back asleep after this dramatic realization is the first manifestation of one of his key personality traits: passivity. He hates his life but does not try to find a way to change it. That he goes into musing about how miserable his job is also suggests that being an insect is not nearly as awful to Gregor as his work. Furthermore, his being an insect might even have been triggered by his work: insects are perceived as single-minded (think of worker ants or bees), which is all Gregor's family and...

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