The story of Gregor Samsa’s metamorphosis is as much a tale of his drastically changing relationship with his family as it is about his transformed appearance and abilities. Gregor’s emotional commitment to his father, mother, and sister initially does not seem to have changed very much. Before he turned into a beetle, Gregor was a dutiful, obedient man who was happy to support his family. He was proud of his financial contribution as the only gainfully employed person in the family. Although his attitude toward work had apparently changed somewhat before the transformation, he continued to accept the responsibility that they had imposed on him.
After he wakes up as a beetle, even before the others see him, Gregor worries that his new appearance will bother them. He is concerned as well about the impact of not being able to work. Each family member has different feelings and behavior toward him.
Gregor’s younger sister, Grete, does what she can to take care of him, even bringing him the rotten food that he now enjoys. Correctly anticipating how upset their mother will be to see her son, the sister tries to shield her. Together, they remove his furniture, but her mother is so distraught upon seeing him that she faints.
Gregor’s father, who had always been critical and demanding, is the most hostile to the new development. Growing more agitated when he perceives the new beetle-Gregor as a threat to his wife, the father ignores Grete’s pleas and pelts his son with apples, injuring his back as well as his feelings. This hostile act cements the entire family’s rejection of Gregor. Ultimately, even Grete turns on him, and she locks him into his room to starve. Gregor accepts that his death is best for everyone.