The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka: Summary

One of the best known stories The Metamorphosis ranked Franz Kafka; a Czech-born German-Jewish writer one of the most famous story writer who dealt with an issue of existentialism of the twentieth century.

Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

Part I

The story begins with the description of vermin Gregor Samsa who was mysteriously transformed into a gigantic insect after he woke up. He lived with his parents and sister, whom he was supporting by doing a job as a travelling salesman, which he did not like. He lived the life without friends and no social life at all. He was not close to his family members except his sister Grete.

After his transformation he did not find himself horrifying or even inconvenience with his changed appearance. He only thought about the unpleasant job and thought that he would be late as he slept for long. He was thinking of earning money to pay off his parents’ debts.

Gregor was consistently called by his family members from outside the room, but he could not answer them in the usual way. He could realize that his voice sounds strange, like a “horrible twittering squeak.” He could not wave his little insect legs and unable to control his new insect like body. In the meantime the chief clerk of Gregor’s firm arrived to inquire about him. As he heard the voice of chief clerk who warned and criticize him for not attending the job and gave a hint that he might lose his job. Gregor did not like his firm to send a person from the higher rank like him to inquire on minor thing like that. This even made Gregor more upset and in defense, he gives a long speech which no one could understand from outside the room. After hearing his voice chief clerk said “That was not a human voice.” Gregor’s mother thought that he might be ill, so she sent her daughter Grete to call a doctor. Gregor’s father sent the servant girl for a locksmith to open the door from outside.

Meanwhile, Gregor decided to show himself before his family members and chief clerk. With the greatest difficulty he somehow managed to use his toothless like insect jaws to open the lock of the door. As he opened the door his mother fall to the ground in the sight of her son. Gregor’s father started crying and chief clerk ran away, yelling “Ugh!”

Part II

The second part of the story begins with the state of Gregor who found himself most comfortable hiding under the sofa and crawling up the walls and hanging from the ceiling. He no longer liked fresh food rather he preferred half decayed scraps which his sister left for him. His family members lost their hope that Gregor would return to human form. It was only Gregor’s sister Grete who took care of him. She arranged a sheet for Gregor in front of sofa to hide himself. One day, a sudden feeling of belongingness came to Gregor so he climbed up the wall towards the lady in furs. By seeing that his father threw apples over him, which seriously wounded him and fainted.

Part III

Earlier, other family members did not work, but now they started working to support the family along with the responsibility to take care of Gregor. Gregor was injured and locked on the wall with an apple on his back. There was no one in the family to remove the apple and release him from the state where he was suffering and starving. He was neglected and left in the room which turned into a dumping area. One evening, Gregor was fascinated by the music when he heard the violin played by his sister for her parents and lodgers. He experienced some sort of nourishment. He came out of his room thinking to reach his sister to invite in his room with other violin and kiss her on the neck. But the lodgers saw Gregor and realized that they were sharing a house with such creature and they gave notice that they would sue in case of damage done by the vermin. Grete, wanted to get rid of Gregor thinking that he was no more her brother Gregor; but a creature and he could drive away their lodgers.

Feeling, weak and sad Gregor wanted to disappear as his sister desired. He died that night. His death energized their family, especially Mr. Samsa. Grete had turned into an attractive young woman for whom her parents would find a husband soon for her.

Published on: March 19, 2018

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