The Day Gregor Samsa Revealed to his Parents that he was a Bug

Once Gregor decided to leave his room, he went through his double doors to hear the chief clerk exclaim a resounding “Oh” that could be heard throughout the entire house. The chief clerk had never seen anything so unusual in his life, especially a talking enormous pest. He thought, “this must be a dream, this cannot be Gregor Samsa,” while he pressed his hands against his open mouth, he slowly retreated as if driven by an invisible force. The chief clerk thought back on his youth and how he detested insects for their dreadful appearance, especially for their numerous, undulate, hairy legs. Gregor’s mother was sitting on the couch when she saw the reaction of the chief clerk, so she unfolded her arms, rose from her seat, took two steps forward where Gregor was standing, and she immediately fell unconscious on the floor. There were no words to describe her anguish for her son turning into a household pest, all she could do was lay on the floor in utter astonishment and gloom. Gregor’s father looked hostile and clenched his fists as if wanted to knock Gregor back into his room. He could not believe that his precious, hardworking son would turn into an insect. The once strong willed lieutenant in the army was now a repulsive insect that needed to be extinguished.

“Was this the secret Gregor was hiding from us when he refuse to open his door?” thought Gregor’s father. Then, he looked uncertainly around the living room, covered his eyes with his hands and wept so that his powerful chest shook. The father was depending on Gregor to take care of the family. Not only did Gregor financially support the family but he also took care of the father and mother as they were getting older. However, these responsibilities were not of Gregor’s duties anymore because the father saw that he no longer existed anymore. “Now how is the family going to be taken cared of?” “What am I going to?” “How is this vermin going to take care of me?” “He cannot possibly be my son,” thought the father as he continue to weep all the more louder.

Gregor tried to explain to the chief clerk about his excusable tardiness for not coming to work on time but the chief clerk had turned away as soon as Gregor started to speak. He could only see Gregor’s big stature, numerous, hairy legs, moving in all directions, and his antenna moving back and forth like a pendulum of a clock. These actions made the clerk very frightened and since he could not understand most of Gregor’s speech, he thought that Gregor wanted to eat him. So, the chief clerk moved gradually to the entrance hall where he rushed forward in a panic and stretched his hands out towards the staircase in order to escape from this nightmare. “I better get out of here before he consumes every part of my flesh,” thought the chief clerk.

However, while the chief clerk made all effort to escape, Gregor realized that is was out of the question to let the chief clerk go away in this mood, especially if his position at the firm was in extreme danger of being expunged. So, without considering that he was still not familiar with how well he could move about in his present state, or that his speech might not still be understood, he let go of the door; pushed himself through the opening; tried to reach the chief clerk on the landing but immediately fell over and, with a little scream as he sought something to hold onto, landed on his numerous little legs.

As the mother witness all this, she thought of Gregor’s face as a young boy, then as a mature man. She could not believe that this vermin was her son. She closed and opened her eyes, so that Gregor’s normal body would magically reappear but it did not work. All she could see was an enormous bug. Then, in her hysteria, Gregor’s mother suddenly jumped up with her arms outstretched and her fingers spread shouting, “Help, for pity’s sake, Help.” She hurriedly moved backwards until she reached the kitchen table and quickly sat on it without realizing that all the breakfast things were on it. She did not even seem to notice that the coffee pot on the table had been knocked over and a gush of coffee was pouring down onto the carpet.

“Mother, mother,” said Gregor gently, looking up at her but he could not help himself from snapping in the air with his jaws at the sight of the flow of coffee. Mrs. Samsa saw Gregor’s movements but she could not make sense of it, so it caused her to scream anew. “Oh, my God, what is he doing?” “Oh, my God, I think he is going to kill me!” thought the mother as she fled from the table, and fell into the arms of Gregor’s father. The chief clerk had already reached the stairs of the entrance hall and Gregor did not want him to leave if he knew that he would be left without a job for this dreary situation, so he made a run for him. While the chief clerk tried to quickly leave he noticed that Gregor’s dome like body was shifting and his antenna was moving to his direction. He did not want to be touched by this hideous creature, so, he leapt down several steps at once and disappeared, while his shouts resounded all around the staircase.  Gregor’s father realized that immediate action was going to have be taken to extinguish this situation. “I don’t want this thing running around my house, it needs to get out,” thought the father. So, he seized the chief clerk’s stick in his right hand, picked up a large newspaper from the table with his left, and used them to drive Gregor back into his room, stamping his foot at him as he went.

Although Gregor tried to reason with his father, his father could not understand him and wanted him to leave. He no longer considered Gregor as a son but as a repulsive pest that needed to die. Across the room, Gregor’s mother could not deal with the present ordeal and felt she was going in a state of unconsciousness, so she pulled open a window, leant far out of it, and pressed her hands to her face breathing in and out.

“Get out, get out, get out, get out, get out you filthy pest,” thought Gregor’s father as he hissed and stamped his feet to drive Gregor back to his room. Gregor had never had any practice in moving backwards and was only able to go very slowly. He did not want to get a fatal blow to his back or head from the stick in his father’s hand, so he quickly and anxiously tried to turn himself around. As this process went very slowly, Gregor’s father was becoming impatient. “I don’t want this vermin in my sight anymore,” thought the father. So, he used the tip of his stick to give directions from a distance on which way to turn as he kept hissing at Gregor to get back in his room. When Gregor had finally turned around, he was pleased that his head was in front of the doorway, but then he saw that it was too narrow, and his body was too broad to get through it without difficulty. “Finally, he is almost out of my sight, he needs to hurry up,” thought the father. In the father’s present mood, he did not have the idea that Gregor was unable to open the double doors. He was merely fixed on the idea that Gregor should get back into his room as quickly as possible.

As the father watched Gregor desperately trying to push himself back into his room, he became more impatient and the hissing became louder and louder in an attempt to drive Gregor all the more harder back into his room despite his current paralysis. With the little strength that Gregor had, he pushed harder into his room but then one side of his body lifted itself making him lay at an angle in the doorway. One flank of Gregor’s body was scrapped on the white door causing him to get painfully injured. His scrap left vile brown flecks on the door and soon he was stuck fast and was not able to move at all by himself; his little legs along one side hung quivering in the air while those on the other side were pressed painfully against the ground. The father could not accept Gregor’s off putting nature of being an insect and the flecks on the door made him more appalled of the situation. “This is so horrendous, I can’t take this anymore,” thought the father, so he gave a hefty shove behind Gregor and released him from where he was held. This sent Gregor flying, while heavily bleeding, deep into his room. “And good riddance to you,” thought the father as he slammed shut the door with his stick, and finally, all was quiet.

3 thoughts on “The Day Gregor Samsa Revealed to his Parents that he was a Bug”

  1. Hi Stephanie,
    That was an interesting way to retell “The metamorphosis.” I noticed that you changed the narration from third person limited to third person omniscient. With this type of narration we not only got insight into the thoughts and feelings of Gregor Samsa, we also got insight into the thoughts and feelings of Gregor’s father, his mother and the chief clerk. Because of these changes the reader is able to have a better understanding of how Gregor’s vermin state affected the other characters.
    I noticed that his sister was not a part of the retelling. I know from the story she was away when this incident happened. However, I am curious as to what her reaction would have been.
    It is interesting that the father was not thinking about Gregor and the predicament he was in, but rather he was more concerned about how the family would be taken care of. How selfish.

  2. Yes, I choose not to get into Grete’s head because I really wanted to know the reactions of Gregor’s father and mother that is why my story is called “The Day I Revealed to My Parents that I Was a Bug. Also, the particular scene I chose from the story did not include Grete in it. I could not just make Grete get in that particular scene without changing the chronology of the story. I hope this make sense. Thanks for commenting; that is great that you noticed that.

  3. I can see that you made many of the changes that we discussed when we met to review your retelling draft. I like the approach of telling the story using an omniscient narrator. We haven’t encountered this type of narration yet in our course, but you do a good job of getting into each character’s thoughts, and you’ll be able to focus on that in your comparison.

    One detail I didn’t notice before: your title is first-person, even though you’re using an omniscient narrator in your retelling. Is there another way to phrase your title to get the idea across that doesn’t use “I” or limit its view just to Gregor’s point of view?

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