The Metamorphosis Part 2, Division 2: Summary and Analysis
by Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Download The Metamorphosis Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Part 2, Division 2: Summary and Analysis

Summary
Part 2, Division 2 covers the action from the sighting of Gregor on the wall by Mrs. Samsa to Mr. Samsa’s bombarding Gregor with apples.

After Grete and Mrs. Samsa remove Gregor’s writing desk and place it in the next room along with the other furniture, they start back to his room to see what other pieces they can take out. Gregor is so agitated and distraught over the removal of his furniture that he runs around his room in a panic hoping to save what is left. The picture of the woman on the wall catches his eye and he flies up to it and clings to it tenaciously, determined at any cost to hold onto it.

Grete sees him first as she and her mother re-enter Gregor’s room. She tries to shield her mother’s eyes from the sight of Gregor spread out against the wall, but when the weary Mrs. Samsa lifts her eyes to the wall and sees Gregor hanging onto the picture, she screams, “Oh, God, Oh, God!” and falls down on the sofa.

Alarmed, Grete runs out of the room and into another room to get something to revive her stricken mother. Worrying that his mother may be dying, Gregor rushes out of the room and follows Grete, but when the two meet, Grete panics at the sight of him and drops one of the bottles she is holding. A piece of shattered glass cuts Gregor’s face. Grete then dashes out of the room, slamming the door behind her, locking Gregor inside.

Presently, Mr. Samsa returns to the apartment. He is dressed in a bank messenger’s uniform with gold buttons and a service cap. When he notices his wife sprawled out on the floor, with Grete bending over her, Mr. Samsa demands to know what happened, and when Grete tells him that Gregor has gotten loose in the apartment, he grows enraged and glares at Gregor, who by this time, has freed himself from the room. As soon as Gregor sees the fire in Mr. Samsa’s eyes, he retreats to his bedroom.

Driven by a strong desire to punish Gregor for making Mrs. Samsa suffer, Mr. Samsa picks up some apples and starts to throw them at Gregor. One apple grazes Gregor’s back and another one finds its mark and sinks deeply into his back.

Mortally wounded, Gregor soon loses consciousness. Before he blacks out, though, he sees his mother pick herself up and fly into Mr. Samsa’s arms. With her clothes in disarray, Mrs. Samsa runs terrified and screaming into her husband’s comforting embrace and pleads with him to spare her son’s life.

Analysis
When the time approaches for Mrs. Samsa and Grete to enter Gregor’s room to remove his furniture, Gregor takes refuge under the sofa with the sheet practically covering his entire body. Only his head sticks out from beneath the sofa so he can better observe his mother and sister in the room. For about 15 minutes, the two women struggle to remove the heavy chest, but after a while, Mrs. Samsa has a sudden change of heart. She realizes that by removing Gregor’s furniture, they would be showing him that they have given up on him ever returning to normal or improving in any way. Mrs. Samsa still clings to the hope that Gregor will one day get better and she tells Grete that when that day comes, Gregor will want to see the furniture in his room just as it was before his metamorphosis.

Grete, however, still wants the furniture out and, after a heated argument, Mrs. Samsa finally gives in. After the chest is removed, the writing desk is the next piece of furniture to be taken out. Immediately, Gregor reacts to this outrage. His writing desk is something important to him; it holds sweet memories for him when he used to do his homework at it; it represents the toil and labor of his young life in grammar school. It is another strong link to his past that he feels cut off from if it is taken from him. All he could do though is watch as the desk is loosened from the floor and removed and carried out into the adjoining room. Affronted and provoked, Gregor comes out from under the sofa and rushes about the room, wondering what he can salvage and keep from his...

(The entire section is 2,373 words.)