The Metamorphosis Reading & Review Questions

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

If you are teaching Kafka's ~'The Metamorphosis~', then it is important for you to provide plenty of opportunities to enhance your students' comprehension. This lesson offers questions you can use for reading and review of the text.

Helping Your Students Read Kafka

For many of your students, The Metamorphosis will be one of the most complex and philosophically abstract literary works they have ever read. At the same time, the novel has a compelling and exciting plot, characters with depth and intrigue, and themes that many of your students will be able to relate to personally.

To help make the book accessible to as many students as possible, you will want to give them questions that both push and assess their comprehension. By asking students comprehension questions, you offer them a chance to make sure they understand what is happening and synthesize different aspects of the reading. The questions in this lesson can be used both as students read the work and after they have finished it.

Questions About Characters

This section offers questions that help ensure that students understand the novel's major characters.

  • What are some of Gregor Samsa's major internal characteristics at the beginning of the novel? Use evidence to support each of your assertions.
  • How does Gregor change as a character as a result of the external metamorphosis he has undergone? Find proof from the novel to show how his external changes lead to internal ones as well.
  • What are some of the things in the Samsa family history that have led up to their current circumstances?
  • How does Mr. Samsa relate to his wife and children? How would you describe his personality and his perspective on fatherhood, and why?
  • What is one quote from Mr. Samsa that really illustrates the kind of man he is?
  • Describe Mrs. Samsa's perspective on motherhood. What does she see as her major responsibilities as a mother? How does she relate to her household and her children overall?
  • Characterize the relationship between Gregor and Grete as it evolves over the course of the novel. What are the major features of their relationship, and how does it change?
  • How is Grete both similar to and different from her brother as a person? Use evidence to back up what you say about Grete as a person.
  • Which characters outside of the Samsa family seem to influence their life, relationships and outcomes? Describe the overall nature of the Samsa family's relationship to the external world.

Questions About Plot

Here, you will find reading and review questions that help students make sense of the plot.

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