Metamorphosis Study Questions – English Assignment

1. What metamorphosis does Gregor Samsa experience at the beginning of the story?

2. Why is Gregor’s job important to his family?

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3. After the metamorphosis, what is Gregor’s sister’s main role?

4. What is communication like between the changed Gregor and his family?

5. What happens after Gregor’s father wounds him with an apple?

6. What are Gregor’s first feelings towards his family after the metamorphosis?

7. Even after the metamorphosis, music is important in Gregor’s life. What does music most likely symbolize or stand for?

8. Describe Gregor’s parents at the end of the story.

9. Describe each of the following: Gregor Samsa, his father, his mother, his sister

10. How do Gregor’s habits change as the story goes on?

11. How do the Samsas feel about their future after Gregor dies?

12. How would you characterize Gregor’s relationship with the office manager?

13. What is the overall attitude of Gregor’s firm concerning its employees? How is this attitude conveyed?

14. Explain whether Gregor was happy before his metamorphosis.

15. In the first few weeks after his change, what seems to be Gregor’s attitude concerning his condition and his life in general? How and why does his attitude change?

16. Explain whether Gregor’s metamorphosis might be viewed as a fulfillment of his hidden desires. Can it also be viewed as a punishment for his desires? Why or why not?

17. How would you characterize Gregor’s sister? What is her attitude toward Gregor after his transformation and how is it revealed? How and why does her attitude change toward Gregor as the story progresses?

18. How would you characterize Gregor’s father and mother? What are their respective attitudes toward Gregor following his change and how are they revealed?

19. How does Gregor’s attitude toward his family change during the course of the story? What brings about the change in his attitude?

20. Contrary to what Gregor had been led to believe, his father had not actually gone bankrupt when the business failed. What does this signify?

21. Why does Gregor not want the furniture removed from his room? Why does Grete become so determined to remove the furniture?

22. How is the way the cleaning woman responds to Gregor different from the way the others respond to him? What is the reason for the difference?

23. Why is Gregor so moved by his sister’s violin playing?

24. What causes Gregor’s death? What are his family’s feelings concerning his death?

25. Having completed reading the Metamorphosis, what do you think the future holds for Gregor’s sister? What are you basing your predictions on?

26. Explain why Metamorphosis is as relevant today as it was when it was written.

27. As is the case in many literary works, Kafka uses a limited point of view, revealing only Gregor’s thoughts and feelings. How do Gregor’s feelings and perceptions shape the portrayal of the other characters in the story?

28. In a typical Modernist/Surrealist work, the narrator never makes any judgments about the characters or offers any conclusions. Explain whether this is true with Metamorphosis.

29. In many literary works, writers often begin novels and short stories with expositions in which they present important background information. Why would Metamorphosis been less effective if it had begun with an exposition?

30. Many writers in Kafka’s time believed that early twentieth-century life was characterized by a sense of uncertainty, alienation, detachment, and despair. Explain how this view is reflected in Metamorphosis.

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