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"No plea of Gregor's helped, no plea was even understood; however humbly he might turn his head, his father merely stamped his feet more forcefully […] he drove Gregor on, as if there were no obstacle […] his father gave him a hard shove, which was truly his salvation, and bleeding profusely, he flew far into his room."
Gregor's metamorphosis indirectly highlights his father's impatience.
"Often he heard them say how much they appreciated his sister's work, whereas until now they had frequently been annoyed with her because she had struck them as being a little useless."
Gregor's inability to work directly resulted in influencing a major change in Grete.
"The apple remained imbedded in his flesh […] reminded even his father that Gregor was a member of the family, in spite of his present pathetic and repulsive shape, who could not be treated as an enemy […] on the contrary, it was the commandment of family duty to swallow their disgust and endure him, endure him and nothing more."
The apple is symbolic, in that it serves to remind the family of their obligations to each other.