The character Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis

When the novel begins, the character Gregor Samsa undergoes a complete physical transformation into an insect. Gregor changes relatively little as a character and, more importantly, as a man and an insect throughout the extract. He faces numerous adversities that would lead a reader to anticipate him to fully change his personality, which he does not. His perspective on the shift is both encouraging and mundane. Gregor perseveres in the face of adversity. He is unconcerned in how or why the transformation occurred. He can instead integrate his human consciousness with his insect body. A significant impact on Gregor’s psychology is evident where he is shown to enjoy hiding in the dark under the sofa and crawling on the ceiling and walls like a bug (p. 15). Even after transformation, Gregor does not freak out. He is only frustrated about his family and his sexuality.

His ordinary attitude towards his transformation enables him to be open towards some cool features of his new vermin body. He is even able to experience happiness, pleasure, and empty contemplation even when anxiety kicks in. Gregor begins to realize how much of a demanding career he chose and how bad his days of humanity were after the transformation. “Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home.” Kafka (p. 2)

Gregor is quite unnatural. His mundane attitude depicts him to be more humane than the other characters in the story. His family, for example, is disgusted by him and ashamed of his presence in the house. This does not deter him in any way. He is persistent on wanting a new role in his family. His attitude sponsors this awareness and encourages him in his life as a horrible vermin. At some point, the author makes it clear that he was even haunted by the thought of controlling his family affairs once again. Despite being too hopeful, he makes a decision to leave and disappear entirely for it would be in the best interest of his family and so he dies, accepting his fate with no complaint.


Kafka, Franz. Metamorphosis. Trans. David Wyllie. 2005.

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