The Metamorphosis Part 3, Division 2: Summary and Analysis
by Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Download The Metamorphosis Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Part 3, Division 2: Summary and Analysis

Summary
The action of Part 3, Division 2 begins with Gregor’s emergence from his room during Grete’s violin concert and ends with his death and the Samsa family’s emotional and spiritual rebirth.

From his room, Gregor hears Grete’s violin and sticks his head out of his room to listen. One of the lodgers notices him and immediately alerts Mr. Samsa. Mr. Samsa tries to assuage his boarders but one of the lodgers is so outraged at the sight of Gregor that he threatens to sue Mr. Samsa for damages and for causing him to live in such a close proximity to Gregor. The two other lodgers also protest their disgusting and inexcusable living conditions, and they threaten Mr. Samsa with a lawsuit as well, reminding him that they will not pay a penny for their room.

Because of this new crisis, Grete steps forward and takes matters into her own hands. She delivers an impassioned speech to her parents about the impossibility of living in the same apartment with Gregor. She argues that Gregor is no longer her brother and that he will some day drive them all into the gutter if he’s allowed to get his way. She boldly suggests that they try to get rid of him, that his presence in the house is intolerable. Mr. Samsa nods and tacitly agrees with her. He tries to comfort her and soothe her worries, but he is at a loss as to the best way to dispose of Gregor.

Once Gregor returns to his room, he begins to feel a sense of relief. The pain in his back no longer bothers him, and although his whole body still aches, he feels comfortable, calm, and at peace with himself. He comes to the realization that Grete is probably right, that the best thing for him to do is disappear from their lives and to spare his family any further grief and heartache. He begins to think of his family with great affection and love. The only solution, he concludes, for all concerned, is for him simply to go away.

At three o’clock in the morning, with the clock chiming outside his window, Gregor takes his last breath and dies.

The following morning, the cleaning woman goes into Gregor’s room. At first, she thinks he is sleeping and does not want to disturb him, but when she playfully pokes him with her broom, she realizes that he is dead. She announces his death in a loud voice and then hurries to the Samsa bedroom to tell them the news.

Upon hearing the news of Gregor’s death, Mr. Samsa thanks God, and then the three lodgers are brought to Gregor’s room to see the corpse for themselves. After they have a look at the flattened body on the floor, the three lodgers are ordered to leave the apartment for good by Mr. Samsa. The cleaning woman assures Mr. and Mrs. Samsa that they have nothing to worry about, for she has already disposed of Gregor’s body. After that, the cleaning woman is fired by Mr. Samsa.

The Samsa’s decide to take a rest and inform their employers by letter that they are going on a short holiday. They board a train for the country. They fix their attention on Grete, who, despite her terrible ordeal of the last few months, has blossomed into an eligible, young, beautiful bride.

After what they have just endured, the Samsas’ future looms bright and promising.

Analysis
The three lodgers are relaxing after dinner one night, smoking their cigars and reading their newspapers when they hear Grete’s violin playing from the kitchen. Startled by the music, the three men rise in unison and move into another room, where they gather closely together and whisper to each other. Anxious that the three boarders might be offended by Grete’s playing, Mr. Samsa asks them if her music is disturbing them, but they respond otherwise and insist that Grete continue playing for them in the room where they have just retired. The music stops momentarily while Mr. and Mrs. Samsa carry the music stand and the music into their room. Grete resumes playing for them, but this time the unpredictable lodgers express their displeasure with her playing and turn away from her, blowing...

(The entire section is 3,158 words.)