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Gregor Samsa wakes up to find himself transformed into a giant insect. After examining his new physiology, complete with numerous thin legs, a hard back, and a segmented belly, he wonders only momentarily what has happened to him. His attention is quickly distracted as he observes his room, noting its small size and seeing on the wall a picture of a woman he had clipped out of a magazine and framed. Wanting to go back to sleep, Gregor realizes that he cannot turn over on his side, which is the only position he can sleep in.
Gregor then begins thinking about his job as a traveling salesman. He hates the traveling, the worrying, and the fact that none of the acquaintances he makes are ever anything more than that. Then, finding an itch on his stomach, Gregor attempts to scratch it but dislikes the sensation. He goes back to thinking about his job and how much he hates getting up early.