Who comes to live with the Samsa family?

In The Metamorphosis, the Samsa family rents out parts of their home to three nameless lodgers in an attempt to alleviate some of their financial woes. Gregor's inability to work after his transformation puts financial strain on his family, since he was their sole source of income.

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In Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis , Gregor Samsa wakes one morning to discover that he has transformed into a bug. As a result of his transformation, he is unable to work. This puts financial strain on his family. To help alleviate their financial woes, the Samsa family hosts three...

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In Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa wakes one morning to discover that he has transformed into a bug. As a result of his transformation, he is unable to work. This puts financial strain on his family. To help alleviate their financial woes, the Samsa family hosts three nameless boarders.

The arrival of the lodgers exacerbates the Samsa family's already poor treatment of Gregor. In order to make space for the live-in guests, the Samsas use Gregor's room for storage. His room becomes cluttered, and he is unable to comfortably live, crawl, and climb. His family dumps unwanted and unneeded items in his room, which is symbolic, as Gregor himself has become unwanted and unneeded in their eyes.

Prior to the arrival of the boarders, Gregor's door was sometimes left open. After the lodgers arrive, the door to Gregor's room is always closed to keep the guests unaware of Gregor's existence.

The Samsas take care to clean and cook for the lodgers. They work hard to make sure their renters are happy, comfortable, and well-fed. Contrastingly, the Samsa family completely neglects Gregor. They forget to bring him food and let him and his room become dusty and dirty:

Because as a result of the dust which lay all over his room and flew around with the slightest movement, he was totally covered in dirt. On his back and his sides, he carted around with him dust, threads, hair, and remnants of food.

Eventually, Gregor purposely starves to death, not wishing to burden his family any longer.

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In the story “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, Gregor experiences a profound change that impacts his family. Throughout the story, Gregor works to support his family; however, after he transforms into a bug, it is impossible for him to continue working. As a result, the family must start supporting themselves in various ways.

One of the ways that the Samsa family supports themselves is by renting one room in their apartment to lodgers. These lodgers consisted of three men that demanded much attention and sacrifice from the family. The story describes these men as:

“These solemn gentlemen (all three had full beards, as Gregor once found out through a crack in the door) were meticulously intent on tidiness, not only in their own room but (since they had now rented a room here) in the entire household, and particularly in the kitchen. They simply did not tolerate any useless or shoddy stuff.”

However, after Gregor passed away, the father kicked out the lodgers. With this, the family found a new freedom without the pressure of providing for Gregor or their lodgers. Instead of paying for a large apartment, they decided to find a smaller one that they could afford and become more self-sufficient, despite their past reliance on Gregor’s financial support.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on