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What does The Metamorphosis’ ending mean?

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The novella ends with Gregor Samsa’s death and the family’s trip to the countryside. Gregor’s death has a symbolic meaning, as it freed from suffering. The family feels a sense of relief because Gregor ceased to be a burden. They start making new plans for their future.

Towards the end of the book, Gregor’s condition worsened. He suffers from physical damage and becomes disconnected from everyone in the family.

His father hates him and has hurt Gregor. His mother cannot bear his appearance. She stops interacting with her son after the refurnishing of his room scene. His relationship with Grete worsens, as she barely cleans the room. She does not feed him and shows her disgust towards the unfortunate brother.

Gregor’s isolation theme is an allegory for a feeling of solitude that many people experience in the modern world. It can correlate with the nature of work or a general sense of anxiety due to fast-paced lifestyles. Franz Kafka included this theme in The Metamorphosis because he experienced the phenomenon during his life.

One evening Gregor hears his sister giving a violin concert to the three lodgers whom the family had taken upon as a prospect of additional income. Gregor is mesmerized by the charm of the melody. However, one of the lodgers spots Gregor’s presence. It upsets all three of them. They state that they will not pay anything for their stay “because of the disgusting conditions prevailing in this household.”

This situation unnerves the family, and Grete cries that “things can’t go on like this.” She insists that they must dispose of the vermin. Gregor, hearing everything they said, creeps back into his room. He contemplates a dire situation, feeling much weakness in his body. Gregor Samsa dies soon after, as “his head sank to the floor of its own accord and from his nostrils came the last faint flicker of his breath.”

What does Gregor’s death symbolize?

Gregor’s death symbolizes the end of his family’s suffering, as well as his own. The Samsas remember that he used to be a human. They find comfort in his death; Gregor is no longer a burden to them. His death freed him from personal hardships. Even before the metamorphosis, Gregor was lonely and exploited by his family for money.

A more in-depth analysis of Gregor’s disease suggests that it could be a metaphor for self-sacrifice. Gregor’s character has every trait of an altruistic person. So, he sacrifices himself to give his family comfort.

The family decides to take a day off from their jobs and take a walk. They feel relieved and decide to move to a smaller flat. They realize how fortunate they are to have steady employment. The parents notice that Grete, despite recent events, “had bloomed into a pretty girl with a good figure.” Mr. and Mrs. Samsa decide that it is time to find a husband for their daughter to ensure their financial security. The future looks bright for the Samsa family.

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"What does The Metamorphosis’ ending mean?" IvyPanda, 29 Jan. 2021, ivypanda.com/q/what-does-the-metamorphosis-ending-mean/.

1. IvyPanda. "What does The Metamorphosis’ ending mean?" January 29, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-does-the-metamorphosis-ending-mean/.


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IvyPanda. "What does The Metamorphosis’ ending mean?" January 29, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-does-the-metamorphosis-ending-mean/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "What does The Metamorphosis’ ending mean?" January 29, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-does-the-metamorphosis-ending-mean/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'What does The Metamorphosis’ ending mean'. 29 January.

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