In "The Metamorphosis," when Gregor's father pushes him back into his room at the end of section 1, why is it called "a true deliverance"?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is an interesting word choice, especially because deliverance has such a positive connotation and typically refers to a liberation or a rescue, and Gregor's predicament—being shoved, bleeding and wounded, into his bedroom by his hissing father—certainly does not strike the reader as positive in any way.

It is clear that Gregor is afraid of his father, as the narrator says that the older man "pitilessly . . . drove [Gregor] back, making hissing sounds like a savage." He waved a cane around as well as a large newspaper, stamping and hissing in order to force Gregor back into his room, regardless of how "humbly" Gregor acted or how clearly he tried to entreat his father to remain calm. The noise his father makes "drove Gregor out of his mind."

Therefore, when Gregor's father gives him a swift shove into his own bedroom, Gregor is liberated from having to try to placate his father, comfort his mother, reason with the clerk from work (who has already run away), or maneuver his unwieldy and unfamiliar, not to mention injured, body through the one open door. He is freed from his fear as well as the door—liberated as it were, by his father's act of violence.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is "a true deliverance" in several senses, firstly, because both Gregor and his father want Gregor to be back in his room. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, it is because Gregor finds himself in a very compromising situation as he is actually stuck and cannot go anywhere and thus is forced to have his wounded flank exposed to the anger and violence of his father. Note what the text tells us:

With one side of his body heaving up, he sprawled lopsided in the opening. His one flank was bruised raw, ugly splotches remained on the white door, and he was soon wedged in and unable to budge on his own. The tiny legs on his one side were dangling and trembling in midair and the tiny legs on his other side were painfully crushed against the floor.

Thus it is that Gregor is trapped and finds that he cannot move. His room to him represents his shelter and home, a place of safety, as his father does not enter there. To be trapped in such an exposed position is incredibly dangerous for him. Thus it is a "true deliverance" when his father shoves him strongly enough to put him back in his room.

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The Metamorphosis

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