Metamorphosis Book Questions

Please answer these questions based on the book metamorphosis:

Section 1

1. What was Gregor’s s life like prior to his physical metamorphosis?

What was his job like? What do we learn from his thoughts? What do we learn from the behavior and words of the chief clerk?

What was Gregor’s s personal life like? What does his mother say about it?

What do Gregor’s bedroom and possessions tell us about his life? What does Gregor’s relationship seem to be with the members of his family?

2. How does Gregor react to the discovery that he has turned into a giant insect? What is he preoccupied with? What are his main concerns?

3. How does Gregor seem to feel about his metamorphosis? How can you explain his attitude?

4. How do Gregor’s parents and the chief clerk react to Gregor’s transformation? Why do they assume that this giant bug is Gregor? (Much Later in the story, Gregor’s sister wonders if it is really Gregor, but no one else suggests this.)

5. Try interpreting this story in a variety of ways: As a look into Gregor’ s inner psyche (and as a look into the psyche of modern man), As a comment on a crushing, impersonal world, As very dark comedy; Your own interpretation Based on your interpretation, what does this story say to you about life, about people, etc.?

6. Kafka creates a frightening, surreal world in which people can turn into insects and chief clerks come to a person’s house when they are an hour late. What is the effect on the reader? Why might Kafka have chosen this technique rather than a realistic style to convey his ideas?

Section 2

1. In what ways is Gregor becoming more physically attuned to his cockroach status? In what ways is he becoming more emotionally attuned?

2. What revelation does the father make about family finances? How does Gregor react, and how might this be significant?

3. In this section, the family itself begins to undergo a “metamorphosis”. Discuss each member of the family (other than Gregor) in terms of their metamorphosis- what were they, and what are they becoming? Why?

4. Why do the mother and sister begin clearing out Gregor’s room? How does he react initially, and what causes him to change his mind?

5. Which of his personal items does Gregor decide to defend from his sister and mother? Why? Take a guess if you aren’t sure.

6. At the end of the section, Gregor comes into conflict with his father. What precipitates this conflict, and how is it resolved? Discuss the importance of the apple here (think allusion allusion allusion here).

7. How is Gregor wounded? What symbolic significance might the object that wounds him have?

8. A person changed into an animal, or vice versa is a common theme of fairy tales. In what ways is The Metamorphosis similar to fairy tales you know? In what ways is it different?

9. What words would you use to describe Kafka’s style? Does his writing remind you of other books you have read, music you have heard, or films you have seen?

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