Are you sitting at your computer, tea and biscuits to hand? Because it’s time once more to read in with us for Part 3 of The Evening Read-In. Get ready for more of Gregor’s adventures in The Metamorphosis…
Here’s a synopsis of what happens in Part 3, or you can read along here as we listen:
Gregor awakes from a deep sleep as the evening is darkening, being aware of there having been some movement in his room. He limps to the door, badly injured from the chaotic events of the day. As he opens it, he finds a dish filled with milk and small lumps of bread. Though ravenous with hunger, he is disappointed to find that the milk is unpleasant to taste and retreats back to his room.
Gregor looks out through the crack in the door to the family living room, which is unusually quiet. During the evening the doors on either side of his room are opened then closed twice very quickly, by a hesitant visitor. Gregor waits for the person to come back to find out their identity but they do not return. Gregor’s parents and sister stay awake until late and then tiptoe from the living room. With no company for the night, Gregor lies alone thinking of how he must rearrange and conduct his life with the least possible imposition on his family’s lives.
The next morning, Gregor’s sister enters his room tentatively – after a initial failed attempt which results in her slamming the door closed in shock. Noticing the milk had been hardly touched, she brings Gregor a selection of different foods to try and hurries away again, not wanting to embarrass him by watching him eat. Famished, Gregor feasts on rotten vegetables and stale sauce – repelled by the fresh food – and is intrigued to discover his injuries from the previous evening have completely healed. His sister returns to remove the food and clean, and despite being lethargic and enlarged from eating, Gregor scurries to hide under the couch when she enters.
Unable to be understood by his family, Gregor has to listen in to their conversations, which are mainly about him. He notices that nobody is ever left by themselves in the house since he has transformed, with the maid also begging to be dismissed early from her work. Gregor is relieved to overhear his father say that there is money left over from his failed business, although it is really meant as an emergency fund. Gregor worries about who will have to work to sustain the family, his father being slow and clumsy, his mother old and suffering with asthma and his sister inexperienced and accustomed to a life of pleasure rather than work. He feels a deep sense of shame at his inability to do anything productive for his family.
Gregor remains in his room, leaning against his chair and staring out of the window, his view of the outside street becoming increasingly distinct. His sister continues to do things for him, entering his room twice daily. Gregor feels uncomfortable on behalf of them both, knowing himself to be a burden and unsettling to his sister.
Remember, you can share your thoughts on the story with us as you listen for the next half-hour, by hopping over to Twitter and attaching the#eveningreadin hashtag to your tweets. Happy reading-in!