illustration of a giant insect with the outline of a man in a suit standing within the confines of the insect

The Metamorphosis

by Franz Kafka

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Part 1, Division 1: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. What are Gregor’s thoughts and impressions when he wakes up to find himself transformed into an insect?

2. What kind of work did Gregor do before his metamorphosis?

3. What are Gregor’s obligations to his family before his transformation into an insect?

4. What are some of the things that Gregor hopes for?

5. Who sends Grete to get the doctor? The locksmith?

6. How would you describe the chief clerk?

7. What two contradictory goals does Gregor seem to be striving for throughout the story?

8. Why does Gregor finally decide to reveal himself to the chief clerk and his parents?

9. How does the chief clerk threaten Gregor?

10. What is the chief clerk’s reaction when he sees Gregor?

1. Gregor at first seems a little surprised and thinks he may have been dreaming, but as he looks around his room and feels the strange sensations of his new body, he realizes that he has not been dreaming—that he is indeed an insect.

2. Gregor worked as a traveling salesman.

3. Gregor is the sole support of his family before his metamorphosis. He paid the rent, all the bills, and he was paying off his parents’ private debts to the chief of his firm.

4. Gregor hopes one day to leave his job for good. His fondest wish is to send his sister, Grete, to music school to study the violin. He hopes to free himself from all his family’s obligations and from his parents’ dependency on him.

5. Mrs. Samsa sends Grete for the doctor, while Mr. Samsa sends the servant girl, Anna, for the locksmith.

6. The chief clerk is a serious man, all business. He doesn’t tolerate any nonsense and seems humorless, threatening, and two-dimensional.

7. Gregor seems to want to withdraw from the world and to be isolated from it, while at the same time he has an irrepressible need to be loved and understood.

8. He wants to see their reaction and is curious to know what they’ll say about him.

9. He tells Gregor that his work has fallen off and that he is in jeopardy of losing his position with the firm.

10. The chief clerk is speechless and reacts with shock and horror.

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Part 1, Division 2: Questions and Answers