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Mr. Samsa, Gregor's father, looms as a domineering figure in the novel. With Gregor incapacitated, Mr. Samsa can no longer malinger as a helpless invalid, and he resumes his place as head of the Samsa household. Despite his humble new occupation as a bank messenger, it comes with a snazzy uniform and a restored sense of authority. Mr. Samsa punishes Gregor without establishing Gregor's guilt, and assumes that Gregor has the worst of intentions. By refusing to believe that Gregor might be attempting to explain himself non-verbally, Mr. Samsa also denies Gregor the opportunity to defend himself and proclaim his innocence.
Mrs. Samsa is the sympathetic yin to Mr. Samsa's domineering yang. She's constantly proclaiming her maternal love for her poor, poor son Gregor – she even throws herself on Mr. Samsa to beg for Gregor's life. Mrs. Samsa, however, can't quite stomach the sight of Gregor and goes into wheezing fits every time she sees him. Her hysterical reaction to Gregor suggests that she may be carried away more by the idea of maternal love than its gross reality.