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Eng11H_metamorphosisguide

Eng11H_metamorphosisguide

Franz Kafka’s The MetamorphosisReading QuestionsDirections: The Metamorphosis is a complex, multi-layered short story of one man’s transformation into a“monstrous vermin.” To fully understand and analyze this piece of literature, close reading and interpretation arenecessary. Answer the following questions based on your reading, being careful to elaborate and provide specificsupport where needed. Please type out your responses, single-spaced.1. Before delving too deeply into this literary work, consider the implications of the title. How would youdefine a metamorphosis? What type of short story might bear this title?2. Consider the opening sentence of the short story: “When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning fromunsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.” What assumptions can youmake about a short story which begins in this fashion? Where might you expect the plot to go from thisseemingly climactic event?3. This story begins with what seems to be an actual, physical transformation. In fact, the narrator commentson page three, “It was no dream.” Noting the text you have read thus far, do you believe Gregor Samsa hasliterally become a large beetle or do you believe something more fantastical or abstract has occurred? Why?4. By examining the description and details of Gregor’s room on page three, what might you surmise about hispersonality? Take into consideration the items he notices as he looks around the room, as well as thoseitems notably missing from a “regular” human room.5. After a few moments of realization, Gregor comments, “How about going back to sleep for a few minutesand forgetting this nonsense.” Is this a logical response, considering his current condition? Is this responsesimilar to one you might make in an unimaginable, but similar situation?6. On page four, immediately following an unsuccessful attempt at falling back to sleep, Gregor changes hisfocus entirely. What new topic does he seem to dwell upon? Do you find this sudden change in focusawkward? Could there be a connection between his physical transformation and his discussion of work?Explain.7. Closely examine Gregor’s complaints about his work. What major problems does he encounter whileemployed as a salesman? Are these significant grievances or just the ordinary complaints of a whining youngman?8. At the top of page four, Gregor attempts to touch an itchy spot on his belly, “studded with white dots.” Whydo you think he shivers upon touching this area? By page five of the short story, have you come to aconclusion about whether or not Gregor has been “physically” or literally transformed into a bug? Cite briefevidence supporting either position, or give conflicting support if you have not yet reached a decision onthis central idea.9. Examine the description of Gregor’s boss on page four. What details of the boss’ character or Gregor’sinteractions with him stand out? Do any of these details seem significant or symbolic? Explain.10. Through page five, what have we learned of Gregor Samsa’s family? What role do you think he performs forthem? Why does he say he must work so hard at a job he seems to hate so much?11. On page five, Gregor is in a rush to get up in time for the seven o’ clock train. He comments, “…he himselfdid not feel especially fresh and ready to march around.” What do you think of this statement? Is it ironic?Humorous? Explain.12. On page five, Gregor describes himself as “a tool of the boss, without brains or backbone.” How is thisstatement ironic and particularly significant considering Gregor’s present state?CA Standards: Reading 3.2, 3.9Ms. Tan/English 11H

The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
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