What Does The Metamorphosis Picture On The Wall Symbolize?

Updated 30 September, 2023
The picture of the woman in furs serves as a symbol of Gregor’s former humanity. Exactly why the picture, which shows a woman wearing a fur hat, a fur boa, and a thick fur muff that covers her arms, originally attracted Gregor is never made clear.
Detailed answer:

There are many important symbols and motifs used by Franz Kafka in his novel “The Metamorphosis”. One of them is a picture on the wall in Gregor’s room. The picture of the woman in furs is found at the beginning of the story where Gregor discovers that he turned into a bug and the second and last appearance of the picture frame is when Grete and Gregor’s mother start cleaning out furniture, and Gregor is scared that they’ll move the picture frame as well. “Above the table, on which an unpacked collection of sample cloth goods was spread out — Samsa was a travelling salesman — hung the picture which he had cut out of an illustrated magazine a little while ago and set in a pretty gilt frame. It was a picture of a woman with a fur hat and a fur boa. She sat erect there, lifting up in the direction of the viewer a solid fur muff into which her entire forearm had disappeared”.
In his room when Gregor clings to the picture, he’s clinging to his humanity. The importance of the picture isn’t clear but he clings onto it with his life because it signifies his humanity. As one of his only possessions, we can infer that he was mainly alone, after turning into a bug, his sense of humanity was going away along with the frame. This shows that as we lose stuff that is close to us, we start to become more desperate.

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