Gallows Humor in The Metamorphosis


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In Kafka's Metamorphosis, what is Gregor's primary concern when he wakes up to discover that he has turned into a giant insect?

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1. In one of the early scenes of Kafka's Metamorphosis, Gregor frightens his mother when he begins snapping his jaws together. Why does he do this?

2. In Kafka's Metamorphosis, when Gregor's father tries to chase Gregor back into his room, why doesn't Gregor move quickly?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Dark humor, also known as gallows or black humor, is present in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis. These questions will test your understanding of instances of black humor in this novella, like Gregor Samsa's first thought upon waking up and the reason he snaps his jaws, among other topics.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

These materials will quiz you on the following:

  • Gregor's father chasing him
  • The comical aspect of Gregor being 'guided' by his father
  • Gallows humor of Gregor's initial reaction to being transformed

Skills Practiced

  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about the gallows humor in The Metamorphosis
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding the comical nature of Gregor's father guiding him along with a stick
  • Making connections - use your understanding of what gallows humor is to analyze the comical part of Gregor's response to his metamorphosis

Additional Learning

For more on this strange tale, you can access the lesson named Gallows Humor in The Metamorphosis. You'll be going over these points:

  • Quick summary of the story
  • Excerpts from Gregor's first reactions of being a beetle
  • His family's response to the change
  • Dark humor in how Gregor's father gets upset about it