Austria/Hungary: The Metamorphosis; practice & quiz

Which of the following is not an important characteristic of modernist literature?
Optimism about social values

What type of work does Gregor do?
travelling salesman

What point of view is The Metamorphosis told from?
Third-person limited point of view, through Gregor

What is Gregor’s first physical challenge after being transformed?
Getting out of bed.

Which of the following are biographical elements in The Metamorphosis?
All of the above

Why does Grete want to move the furniture out of Gregor’s room?
To give him more room to crawl around.

Which of the following statements offers the best characterization of the three lodgers?
They are fastidious and particular about the house and food.

What did Gregor want to do for Grete before his transformation?
Send her to conservatory for music.

Why does Gregor die?
He has not eaten for a long time.

Why does the office clerk come to the Samsa house?
He is checking up Gregor, to make sure he will still work.

What is the thematic significance of the violin music? Why is it so important to the story?
Answers will vary. – Gregor wonders whether he can be moved by music if he is an animal. It leads him to question how human he still is.

Why is Gregor so insistent on going to work, even after he has been transformed?
He is concerned about the debt for his family, and wants to make a good impression at work.

How much time do you think goes by between Gregor’s transformation and his death? Why?
Answers will vary. – Time is ambiguous in this story, but it seems to be a matter of months, probably less than six. It starts in a wintery time of year, and ends with the transition of spring

Why do the lodgers stay with the Samsa family?
Answers will vary. Because Gregor is no longer working, they need more money

“Kafkaesque” is a term used to describe something that is absurd and surreal, yet mundane. Do you see any Kafkaesque qualities in The Metamorphosis? Why or why not?
Answers will vary. – Yes: a man turning into a giant insect, the household going about its normal business, Grete’s feeding of Gregor, or – No: extraordinary things happen, but they are not mundane at all

How is the motif of the number three used in the story?
Answers will vary. three “chapters,” three lodger, three times Gregor comes out of his room, three family members besides Gregor

Write a paragraph describing Gregor’s appearance from Grete’s point of view. What does he look like? How does he move?
Answers will vary. – should include reference to: Gregor’s many legs, his domed body, his jaws and antennae, his scurrying movements, how he climbs the walls, squeezing under the couch

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Austria/Hungary: The Metamorphosis; practice & quiz
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