The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka

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The assignment:

The Metamorphosis
by Franz Kafka

AP English Literature and Composition

Read the entire Metamorphosis and complete the following (on your own paper) by _______________.  Don't forget to refer to the notes on the text, which begin on p. 63. This assignment is worth 100 points.


  1. Define existentialism and three words from the text that you would like to understand.

  2. The Metamorphosis is narrated in which point of view? Why did Kafka choose this point of view?  How does the point of view in the story change?  Where does it change?

  3. From Kafka's description, draw a picture of Gregor Samsa as a bug.  What kind of bug is he, do you think?  Why do you think Kafka chose a giant beetle as the creature Gregor changed into?  Why did Gregor turn into a bug?

  4. Characterize Gregor's family, what each does, a little about each person's attitudes, and the relationships they have with each other.

  5. How does Gregor’s family respond to the fact that Gregor is no longer able to work?  Is the change ultimately good or bad?

  6. Gregor seems to fight against himself as a bug and continues to behave as he would have behaved as a human being until we read (p.17) "Gregor immediately fell down with a little cry onto his numerous little legs.  This had hardly happened when for the first time that morning . . ..”  Respond to this change in him and his change in thinking.

  7. Describe how Gregor is alienated from his family.  What images or passages help you feel his isolation?

  8. What repulses you or bothers you most about Gregor's situation?

  9. Reread page 51 and comment on the attitude of Gregor's family toward him.  (Begins with "My dear parents . . ..)

  10. How does Grete’s attitude toward Gregor change as the story progresses?  Are these changes for the good or not?

  11. Contrast the family's circumstances at the end of the story with them at the beginning of the story and account for the difference.  What has the family learned to do by the end of the story? Be specific.

  12. What other types of metamorphosis are there in the story besides the one that Gregor experiences?  Which particular episodes show this metamorphosis?

  13. This is a pretty grim story in many ways, yet it does contain humor in parts.  What parts of the story are humorous?