The Metamorphosis Part 1, Division 2: Questions and Answers

Franz Kafka

Part 1, Division 2: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How do Mr. and Mrs. Samsa react when they see Gregor for the first time?

2. Why can’t Gregor explain himself to the chief clerk?

3. What are some of the things Gregor tries to tell the chief clerk?

4. Who knocks over the coffee pot?

5. What causes Mrs. Samsa to collapse to the floor?

6. How does Mr. Samsa force Gregor back into his room?

7. What happens to Gregor as he is being driven back into his room?

8. In what ways has Gregor been alienated from society?

9. How have the roles within the Samsa family changed?

10. What is the major theme of the story?

Answers
1. Mrs. Samsa collapses on the floor and buries her face on her breast, while Mr. Samsa looks angrily at Gregor and begins to cry.

2. Gregor can’t explain himself to the chief clerk because the chief clerk is not listening and because Gregor’s speech is unintelligible to him.

3. Gregor tries to remind the chief clerk that he is often the target of unfounded rumors and malicious attacks. He begs the chief clerk to have some compassion for him, and he reminds him that he has to provide for his family’s welfare.

4. Mrs. Samsa, in her panic and confusion, knocks over the coffee pot.

5. Seeing Gregor for the first time, Mrs. Samsa at first stares incredulously at him and then falls to the floor.

6. Mr. Samsa chases Gregor back into his room with a walking stick, rolled up newspaper and by stamping his feet and hissing savagely.

7. Gregor gets caught in the doorway as he is being driven back into his room.

8. Gregor has been rejected by his parents and by the chief clerk, who symbolizes the outside world of business and finance.

9. The roles within the Samsa family have been completely reversed. The parents, who had lived off Gregor for five years, now realize that their helpless son can no longer provide for them and they must find a way to support not only themselves and their daughter, but their son as well.

10. The major theme of the story is change.