The Metamorphosis

Part III of The Metamorphosis.

1. When Gregor dies, he does so of his own volition. Why does Gregor make this choice? What does this tell you about what Gregor has become?

2. Why is Grete convinced that the insect is no longer her brother?

3. What is the significance of the story's final sentences when the parents take notice of their daughter's looks?

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In contrast with the feeling of anxiety that dominates the story, the story’s final scene has a hopeful tone, and it culminates in an image that suggests Grete’s own metamorphosis into a woman is complete. As the family travels out to the countryside, the narrator describes “warm sunshine” filling their train car, and this image creates a marked contrast from confining image of the family’s small apartment. The family also appears to have experienced a dramatic shift away from the frequent worrying over money that has preoccupied them through much of the story, as each family member realizes his or her current employment will likely lead to better opportunities. Finally, they think they can now get a smaller, cheaper, and better-located apartment, implying that it was Gregor who kept them in their current home and that, with Gregor gone, they will now be able to move onto better things. Together these details create a feeling of relief that the family’s ordeal with Gregor is now over as well as a sense of hope for the future. This hope reaches its climax in the final lines of the story. Looking at Grete, the mother and father realize she’s grown into a pretty young woman and think of finding her a husband, signaling both that Grete has undergone her own metamorphosis over the course of the story and that a new chapter in her life is beginning. The story concludes with Grete stretching, an act that suggests emerging after a long period of confinement, as if from a cocoon.


Yes, he dies of his own volition, but he's also been emotionally driven to this point by his family. He loses all hope, and he wills himself to die, but had his family treated him different.... the outcome may have been far different.


Part III of The Metamorphosis

Grete tells her parents that they have to stop believing that the bug is Gregor and says they must find a way to get rid of it. The father wishes they could explain to Gregor why they need him to leave, but Grete says that if he could understand them, he would have left long ago to spare them any more pain.


Thanks Jill D for the quick answers, they all the best.

Thanks again, Rossman.

You're quite welcome!