What is the significance of the use of windows and doors in "The Metamorphosis"?I need to know about the use of doors and windows as motifs and how they contribute to the understanding of Gregor's...

What is the significance of the use of windows and doors in "The Metamorphosis"?

I need to know about the use of doors and windows as motifs and how they contribute to the understanding of Gregor's story or its development: their general effect on the story. Also, if possible, how can these motifs be linked to the various themes present within the book?

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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In this story, the use of doors and windows is significant...particularly in a symbolic sense. 

The main setting of the story is in Gregor's room.  He rarely is able to get out of his room and when he does, he is assaulted and forced back into it:

The story has a very constricted setting; almost all the events take place within the Samsa house, mostly in Gregor's room, reflecting the fact that Gregor is essentially a prisoner. (eNotes)

Gregor has 3 doors to his room.  These doors respresent both freedom and entrapment at the same time.  He is really a prisoner in his own home.  He longs to get out of his bed and get out of his room, in the beginning of the story, to go to work; however, he cannot do so.  He later becomes content in his room (perhaps because he has no other choice).  The significance of the 3 doors is not clear.  The number "3" appears in other places in the story...he has 3 other family members, for instance, and there are 3 parts to the story and 3 lodgers (eNotes).  Regardless, the doors could potentially represent a way out for Gregor but the ultimately represent his imprisonment.

The window in his room represents his only way to see the outside world.  It's his only outlet to see what is going on outside.  The window also might represent a barrier to freedom.  It's one of the only things separating him from "freedom" from his room, for example.  It could also represent reflection.  Gregor has lots of time to think about his life in the past and his current situation (to reflect on that, much as a windown might reflect light). 

Sources:

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