Grete's violin, like the print of the lady with the muff, is one of the story's few objects of beauty. Gregor's deepest desire before his transformation was to pay for Grete to study violin at the Conservatorium. The violin symbolizes their loving bond and shows Gregor's altruistic, sympathetic character. Yet the violin also leads to Gregor's biggest mistake, the night before his death. While Grete plays for the lodgers, Gregor gets so excited and hopeful that he crawls too close. The others misread his gesture as threatening, and his intentions completely fail—though he wanted to enjoy the music and support his sister, he ends up destroying both the evening and the family's income from the lodgers. The violin is closely linked to the themes of family and of intentions vs. outcomes, and it represents both the best parts of Gregor's character, namely his love and support of Grete and his desire to take part in a beautiful experience, and the sad truth that he can never communicate such things again. Trapped in a cockroach body, unable to share the moment of beauty, his life is not worth living.
Grete's violin Quotes in The Metamorphosis
The The Metamorphosis quotes below all refer to the symbol of Grete's violin. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Schocken Books edition of The Metamorphosis published in 1995.).
Section 3 Quotes
He felt hardly any surprise at his growing lack of consideration for the others; there had been a time when he prided himself on being considerate.
Grete's violin Symbol Timeline in The Metamorphosis
The timeline below shows where the symbol Grete's violin appears in The Metamorphosis. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.