In chapter 3
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Gregor's injury cripples him so that he finds it difficult to move around and can no longer climb walls. As a result, however, his father realizes that Gregor should be treated as part of the family and not as an enemy, and the family now leaves the door to his bedroom open so that he can watch them sitting around the table while he remains hidden in the dark.
Mr. Samsa, always in uniform, looks "as if he were ready for service at any moment and even here only at the beck and call of his superior." He has been reincorporated into the work force, and has lost his own volition; he is, instead, always a slave to his job even when he is at home. The brass buttons on his uniform, always polished, represent his absorption into the dehumanizing capitalist system. They contrast with his dirty uniform, which symbolizes the degradation of the individual human core behind that socially useful and servile façade. Just as humanity decays behind the privations of a thankless and exhausting job, so the uniform becomes covered with greasy stains behind the shining brass buttons.
In the uniform, Mr. Samsa sleeps "in extreme discomfort and yet quite peacefully." The uniform, symbol of the economic order, causes discomfort and loss of individuality. The individual, by ignoring his own humanity and sacrificing himself entirely to the economic order, can feel "at peace" at the cost of no longer being human.