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You will read the novella (short novel) The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (about 40 pages)for the novel unit, located on page 316 of your literature text. This is a time-honored classic work of literature.

unit 1: For full credit, answer at least four questions (5 pts each) and respond to the posting of at least one other student (5 pts). Be sure to NUMBER your answers in your posts. Your answers per question need to be at least one paragraph long (at least four sentences) and should provide DETAILS, not generalities.

1) What is Gregor’s job? How does he feel about it? What keeps him working for this firm?
2) What is Gregor’s role in his family? Why does he have so much responsibility? How does his role change after the metamorphosis?
3) Before the metamorphosis, what did Gregor do in the evenings to pass the time?
4) After the transformation, Gregor is more worried about being late for work than he is about himself. What does this tell you about his personality?
5) When Gregor’s parents first see the gigantic insect, do they recognize it as their son? What do their initial reactions suggest about their attitude toward their son?
6) How does each family member react to Gregor after his transformation? How do these reactions differ from one another? What do they have in common?

unit 2: For full credit, answer at least four questions (5 pts each) and respond to the posting of at least one other student (5 pts). Be sure to NUMBER your answers in your posts. Your answers per question need to be at least one paragraph long (a healthy length, not three sentences) and should provide DETAILS, not generalities. 1) What things about Gregor have been changed? What seems to have remained the same? List specific qualities.
2) From Gregor’s point of view, what might be some positive aspects of his metamorphosis into an insect?
3) What circumstances in Gregor’s life might have caused him to feel dehumanized even before the metamorphosis took place?
4) What does Gregor’s father reveal about the family’s financial status? What is Gregor’s reaction when he learns the truth about their finances?
5) What is Gregor’s response when Grete decides to remove the furniture from his room? What does this response tell you about him?
6) The Metamorphosis takes place almost entirely in the Samsa family apartment. How does the story’s setting complement its themes?

unit 3: For full credit, answer at least four questions (5 pts each) and respond to the posting of at least one other student (5 pts). Be sure to NUMBER your answers in your posts. Your answers per question need to be at least one paragraph long (a healthy length, not three sentences) and should provide DETAILS, not generalities you could have picked up in one of the online summaries of the novel.

1. Who comes to live with the Samsas? What might be the significance of these new characters? Why did Kafka not give them names or other individual characteristics?
2. How is Gregor wounded? What symbolic significance might the object that wounds him have?
3. How does Gregor respond to his sister’s violin playing? What does this say about Gregor’s personality?
4. What family member first decides that he or she must get rid of the insect? What rationale is given? In what specific ways does the family’s decision affect Gregor?
5. How does the family react to Gregor’s death?
6. Explain how Grete’s attitude toward Gregor changes? Why do you think her attitude changes?

unit 4: For full credit, answer at least four questions (5 pts each) and respond to the posting of at least one other student (5 pts). Be sure to NUMBER your answers in your posts. Your answers per question need to be at least one paragraph long (a healthy length, not three sentences) and should provide DETAILS, not generalities you could have picked up in one of the online summaries of the novel.

1. Explain which characters undergo change in the story. Be specific, explaining what their personalities were like at the beginning and what they were like at the end, as well as what lead to the change.
2. The narrator strongly implies that Gregor starves himself to death. What other forces might have lead to Gregor’s death?
3. What effect does Gregor’s metamorphosis ultimately have on his family? What does this effect suggest about his relationship with his family?
4. In what ways is Gregor’s metamorphosis symbolic?
5. What part of the story, if any, did you find humorous?
6. How did you respond to the ending of The Metamorphosis? What other endings might the story have had? Explain your answer.

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