Main Characters Analysis

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is a novella i.e. longer than a short story but shorter than a novel, has been a revolutionary story about the practical yet perennial problem of our society. It is a story about a salesman by the name of Gregor Samsa, who works hard to earn a modest income in a job he hates, living with his father, mother, and sister. Initially, they were a normal family, the course of the story changes when Gregor gets transformed into a giant vermin, resulting in a gradual change in the behavior of his father Mr. Samsa, mother Mrs. Samsa and sister Grete Samsa. The story tries to capture the metamorphosis of not only Gregor’s transformation but the attitude of his family members too.

Gregor Samsa

The central character of the novella, Gregor was a salesman who was the sole bread earner of the family. He provided for all the needs of the family and secretly wants his sister to join a conservatory to study violin. But all his wishes and dreams get shattered when he wakes up as a vermin one fine morning. The story shows Gregor as a normal and average young person, who tries to fulfill every wish of his gamily uncompromisingly, even if that meant doing something he hates. Even after he transforms we see plenty of examples when he tries to keep himself away from the eyes of others as much as possible and try not to be an inconvenience even at his own peril. It shows the understanding attitude he has towards others.

Grete Samsa

The most important character of the story after Gregor, Grete is an example of selfish practicality. Initially, we come to know about her intimate relationship with Gregor. She is the one who volunteered to clean Gregor’s room and feed him even after the metamorphosis. But as she started noticing the burden she has to bear to do all these she started to get detached emotionally from him. Even with all the soft feelings, she used to get a bit disgusted at her brother’s appearance, and she even proposed to get rid of him at the latter stage of the story. Though she starts working to relieve the family of family stress, her impulse to get a better situation increased which lead to cutting her ties with her brother emotionally.

Mr. Samsa

He is a character with straightforward needs and expression. He was lazy and was habituated with the income his son used to get. Never tried to hide his emotions, he even threw an apple towards Gregor in anger which crippled him. He starts going to work again after his son is transformed and was the one who got easily infuriated at the slightest misbehavior from his son.

Mrs. Samsa

A loving mother and a subdued woman, she probably is the only one who actually loved her son. Though she fainted on seeing his son transformed, she maintained a quiet attitude. She has been portrayed as a weak character, but maybe the hardest decision for her was to leave her son and move on.


Secondary Characters List

  • The charwoman
  • The office manager
  • The borders
  • The maid

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