What prevents Gregor's family from moving to a smaller apartment?

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hmassman eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the story “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, Gregor’s transformation greatly impacts his family’s financial situation. Consequently, they desire to move to a smaller apartment for affordability reasons; however, they are unable to do this because of two major factors.

Foremost, Gregor’s physical appearance created obstacles preventing their move to a smaller apartment. For example, it would be challenging for the family to move Gregor from one location to another without him being seen. Although this would definitely present monumental challenges, Gregor believes that this could be easily ameliorated. As the story illustrates,

“it was impossible to imagine how Gregor might be moved. But Gregor fully recognized that it was not just consideration for him which was preventing a move (for he could have been transported easily in a suitable box with a few air holes)...”

Thus, Gregor believes that another factor more greatly prevented the family from moving: hopelessness. With this, Gregor realized that by moving, the family would have to accept the profound hardship that no one else in their family had experienced. As a result, the family chose to stay in the larger apartment instead of confronting Gregor’s transformation.

Read the study guide:
The Metamorphosis

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