Gregor Samsa - “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka

A Comprehensive Analysis of Literary Protagonists - Sykalo Evgen 2023

Gregor Samsa - “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka

A Thorough Character Analysis of Gregor Samsa's Transformation

In his novella "The Metamorphosis," Franz Kafka presents readers to the mysterious figure of Gregor Samsa. We will dig further into the nuances of Gregor's character in this study, looking at his type, motivations, motivations in the plot, background, personality traits, relationships, symbols, and more. We hope to reveal more about Gregor Samsa's personality and comprehend his importance in Kafka's bizarre story through this investigation.

Character Type

Gregor Samsa is a vibrant figure who goes through a significant emotional and physical metamorphosis. He is a responsible and obedient son in the beginning of the novel, working nonstop to provide for his family. But his transformation into an insect forces him to drastically reevaluate his objectives and worldview, which propels him forward in his progress.

Part in the Narrative

Although Gregor is the main character in "The Metamorphosis," he plays an unusual role. His metamorphosis initiates the story and establishes the tone for the whole tale. He is not a conventional hero; rather, he is a character going through an unsettling and bizarre experience. His voyage turns into a means of examining existential issues and the state of humanity.


Knowing Gregor's past is essential to comprehending his personality. He is shown as a traveling salesman who must provide for his family financially. His identity is shaped by his hard work and the need to support his sister and parents. This past starts to play a significant role in shaping his responses and choices even after his transformation.

Qualities of Personality

Gregor is presented as being conscientious, exacting, and dedicated to his work before to his metamorphosis. His devotion, nevertheless, comes at the expense of his wellbeing and personal life. Following the transformation, he goes through a spectrum of feelings, such as acceptance of his new shape and confusion and sorrow. The unfavorable characteristics of his insect shape, such loneliness and alienation, emphasize the complexity of his personality even more.

Incentives and Objectives

Gregor is primarily driven by a sense of obligation to his family. His objective is to ensure financial security, a duty that grows increasingly onerous in the wake of his transformation. As he struggles with his new life, his objectives clearly change from achieving professional achievement to merely surviving.

Disagreement and Difficulties

Throughout the narrative, Gregor encounters both internal and external conflicts. He faces internal issues with who he has become and with his identity. He has to deal with the responses from his company, family, and the general public on the outside. The obstacles he faces make him reevaluate his goals and consider the expectations put on him.


Gregor's character growth revolves around his relationships. His family, who were initially reliant on him, changes in step with him. The post-metamorphosis strained relationships highlight the influence of society expectations as well as the brittleness of familial ties. The complexity of interpersonal relationships is illuminated by Gregor's interactions with others.

Archetypes and Symbols

The change of Gregor into an insect is a potent metaphor. It stands for his dehumanization, alienation, and the breakdown of social norms. The bug archetype can be read in a number of ways, such as as a representation of existential distress or as a metaphor for the dehumanizing impacts of contemporary life.

Arc of Character

Gregor has a deep and unusual character journey. Along the way, he undergoes a metamorphosis in his physical shape as well as in how he views himself and what society expects of him. The sequence of events culminating in his death serve to reveal the depths of both his persona and the subjects that Kafka delves into.

Dialogue and Language

Kafka uses a particular method to depict the feelings and thoughts of Gregor. Prior to the transformation, Gregor speaks in a formal, businesslike manner that is indicative of his professional existence. His little conversation following the change highlights the disintegration of human expressiveness. His language has changed throughout time, reflecting his inner conflicts and shifting identity.

Historical and Cultural Background

Early in the 20th century, "The Metamorphosis" was written in the context of existential philosophy and sociological shifts. Gregor's situation can be interpreted as a mirror of both the individual's struggle in a world that is changing quickly and the dehumanizing impacts of industrialization. The existential themes in the novel speak to the ambiguities of the day.

Evaluative Angles

Different literary critics have offered differing perspectives on the persona of Gregor Samsa. Some draw attention to the psychological elements of his metamorphosis and connect it to problems with mental health. Others emphasize the working class's pressures while concentrating on the socioeconomic background. Examining these viewpoints deepens our comprehension of the character and the novella overall.

Arrange Your Exam

In order to conduct a thorough analysis of Gregor Samsa's character, we can arrange our observations in an orderly fashion:

- Preface: Give a brief overview of Gregor Samsa and the relevance of his role in "The Metamorphosis."

- Type and Role of Character: Describe Gregor as a dynamic character and his function as the main character.

- Background: Discuss Gregor's past while highlighting how it shaped his personality.

- Personality Traits: List and evaluate Gregor's characteristics, both pre- and post-transformation.

Inspirations and Objectives: Analyze Gregor's objectives and reasons, and note how they change as the narrative progresses.

Dispute & Difficulties: Talk about Gregor's conflicts, both internal and external, and how they affect his personality.

- Connections: Examine Gregor's interactions with his family and other people, emphasizing the part they played in his growth.

- Archetypes and Symbols: Examine the significance of Gregor's metamorphosis and how it relates to recurring themes.

- Character Arc: Follow Gregor's journey and look at the moments that lead to his change.

- Language and Dialogue: Assess the language employed to portray Gregor and its development, taking into account how it affects the way the character is portrayed.

- Cultural and Historical Context: Set the scene for the novella by placing Gregor's character within the historical and societal shifts of the era.

- Critical Perspectives: Enrich the analysis with observations made by literary critics.

Present Proof

Provide specific quotations and examples from "The Metamorphosis" to bolster each argument. To support the analysis, make specific references to language, scenes, and narrative aspects.


To sum up, the character played by Gregor Samsa in "The Metamorphosis" delves deeply into existential concerns, societal expectations, and the human mind. A comprehensive examination of this character's history, disposition, drives, interpersonal connections, and symbolic meaning provides us with a sophisticated comprehension of this intricate figure and his function in Franz Kafka's ground-breaking novel. Readers can consider their own issues with identity, social pressures, and the unrelenting pursuit of expectations by using Gregor's transformation as a prism.