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 The Metamorphosis Study Guide (Choose to Continue)

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The Metamorphosis: Character Profiles

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Charwoman:  The charwoman wears an ostrich feather in her hat and cleans up after Gregor but teases him unmercifully. She finds him dead one morning and tosses out his desiccated body with the trash so her employers, Mr. and Mrs. Samsa, won't have to bother with the body of their son.
Chief Clerk:  The minion of Gregor's heartless boss, the Chief Clerk knocks on the door the morning of Gregor's transformation inquiring why Gregor is late for work. He represents the mechanized dehumanized world that Gregor is forced to work within.
Gregor Samsa:  The protagonist of Kafka's novella, Gregor wakes one morning to find he has been transformed into a gigantic insect. He hates his job as a traveling salesman but feels forced by his father's indebtedness to his boss to support his father, his asthmatic mother and musically-inclined seventeen-year-old sister, Grete.
Grete Samsa:  The seventeen-year-old violin playing Grete cares for her brother Gregor and feeds him after his metamorphosis into a giant insect. But in time she forces her parents into realizing Gregor will never return to his human form and so convinces them that he must go.
Mr. Samsa:  The failure of Mr. Samsa's business forced his son Gregor into a non-satisfying job out of economic necessity to support the family. However, although he is in good health, he sits around all day reading newspapers in his nightgown while his son labors at a stressful, dehumanizing job. After Gregor's transformation, Mr. Samsa regains his masculine vigor and begins to work again. He throws an apple at his son that becomes impaled in his flesh and ultimately causes his death.
Mrs. Samsa:  At the beginning of the story, Gregor's mother Mrs. Samsa suffers from asthma, but after her son's metamorphosis she begins to work at sewing and takes over many of the household chores. She regains her health. The sight of her son, however, causes her to faint.
The Three Lodgers:  The three lodgers are three men who move into the Samsa apartment so the family can earn extra income. They are demanding and demeaning and Mr. Samsa forces them to leave after Gregor dies.




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