9pm on a Thursday evening can only mean one thing – The Evening Read-In, of course. It’s the final part of The Metamorphosis, so if you’ve been hanging on the edge of your seat all week wanting to know how Gregor ends up, you need wait no longer to find out. If you’re sitting comfortably, let’s begin with the ending…remember you can get involved in the story by sharing your thoughts on Twitter at any time over the next half an hour – just use #eveningreadin at the end of your tweets.
Here’s a synopsis of Part 5, or if you prefer, you can read along with the text while you listen.
Gregor’s situation becomes increasingly worse – he had almost completely stopped eating, and his living conditions were cramped and dirty – everything that could not be kept elsewhere in the house was put into his room. One of the rooms in the flat had been rented out to three gentlemen. These men had particularly high standards and the family were keen to show them the utmost respect and cater to their needs, cooking and serving their meals to them in the family living room while the family remained in the kitchen.
One evening while the gentlemen dined, the sound of a violin streamed through from the kitchen. Gregor’s father became anxious that the gentlemen were displeased, but on the contrary they asked for Grete – who was the one playing – to come into the living room. Captivated by the music, Gregor moves himself into the living room a little. He thinks about how beautiful his sister’s playing is and wishes for her to come and play for him alone in his room, as the gentlemen do not seem to appreciate her. While lost in thought, Gregor is noticed by one of the gentlemen who points towards him and calls to Gregor’s father. Gregor’s father attempts to direct the men back into their room, while Grete rushes to Gregor’s room to clean it, but the men express their disgust and give immediate notice of their room.
In anger and frustration, Grete declares that the family cannot possibly continue to live as they are and that they should get rid of Gregor. Their father agrees that something should be done, but wishes that Gregor was able to understand them so they could make justify the decision. Grete argues that is impossible and anyway, Gregor has become an animal with no consideration or human qualities. In the midst of his sister’s commotion, Gregor crawls quietly back to his room, where he is locked in by Grete. He is no longer able to move and so lies there, feeling the pain fade from his body. Before the dawn of the next day, Gregor dies.
The next morning, the charwoman arrives at the flat and discovers Gregor. She rushes to tell the family of the news and they go to see his body, completely dried up. The three gentlemen enter, asking the charwoman for their breakfast. She takes them to see Gregor’s corpse, before Mr Samsa orders them to leave the house. All three members of the family use the day to write letters of excusal to their employers, their peace only disturbed by the charwoman who informs them ‘that thing in there’ has been taken care of. The family leave the flat together for the first time in months and take a tram to the country. The future seems bright for the whole family – with good jobs and the prospect of moving home – but especially Grete, who has become vibrant and confident – the perfect embodiment of a young lady.