"Metamorphosis," Vocabulary from Part 2

Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis" is brilliantly daring storytelling. The main character may indeed be a "monstrous vermin" right from the start, but as the story progresses and his struggle is described in detail, it is difficult not to take pity on him (etext found here).

Learn these word lists: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. lure
    anything that serves as an enticement
    By the door he first noticed what had really lured him there: it was the smell of something to eat.
  2. aversion
    a feeling of intense dislike
    He turned away from the bowl almost with aversion and crept back into the middle of the room.
  3. tranquility
    a state of peace and quiet
    But how would things go if now all tranquility, all prosperity, all contentment should come to a horrible end?
  4. establish
    show the validity of something, as by example or explanation
    The light in the living room was turned off only late at night, and now it was easy to establish that his parents and his sister had stayed awake all this time, for one could hear clearly as all three moved away on tiptoe.
  5. opportunity
    a possibility from a favorable combination of circumstances
    Already early in the morning (it was still almost night) Gregor had an opportunity to test the power of the decisions he had just made, for his sister, almost fully dressed, opened the door from the hall into his room and looked eagerly inside.
  6. urge
    a strong, restless desire
    If she did not do it on her own, he would sooner starve to death than call her attention to the fact, although he had a really powerful urge to move beyond the couch, throw himself at his sister's feet, and beg her for something or other good to eat.
  7. delicacy
    subtly skillful handling of a situation
    And out of her delicacy of feeling, since she knew that Gregor would not eat in front of her, she went away very quickly and even turned the key in the lock, so that Gregor could now observe that he could make himself as comfortable as he wished.
  8. attract
    be appealing to
    "Am I now going to be less sensitive," he thought, already sucking greedily on the cheese, which had strongly attracted him right away, more than all the other foods.
  9. invocation
    the act of appealing for help
    Since he was not comprehensible, no one, not even his sister, thought that he might be able to understand others, and thus, when his sister was in her room, he had to be content with listening now and then to her sighs and invocations to the saints.
  10. prospect
    the possibility of future success
    Already during the first day his father laid out all the financial circumstances and prospects to his mother and to his sister as well.
  11. surrender
    relinquish possession or control over
    They took the money with thanks, and he happily surrendered it, but the special warmth was no longer present.
  12. necessitate
    require as useful, just, or proper
    Only the sister had remained still close to Gregor, and it was his secret plan to send her (in contrast to Gregor she loved music very much and knew how to play the violin charmingly) next year to the conservatory, regardless of the great expense which that must necessitate and which would be made up in other ways.
  13. futile
    producing no result or effect
    In his present situation, such futile ideas went through his head, while he pushed himself right up against the door and listened.
  14. frugality
    prudence in avoiding waste
    Gregor, behind his door, nodded eagerly, rejoicing over this unanticipated foresight and frugality.
  15. sufficient
    of a quantity that can fulfill a need or requirement
    At the moment, however, this money was nowhere near sufficient to permit the family to live on the interest payments.
  16. modest
    marked by simplicity; having a humble opinion of yourself
    Should his sister earn money, a girl who was still a seventeen-year-old child, whose earlier life style had been so very delightful that it had consisted of dressing herself nicely, sleeping in late, helping around the house, taking part in a few modest enjoyments and, above all, playing the violin?
  17. suffocate
    deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing
    As soon as she entered, she ran straight to the window, without taking the time to shut the door (in spite of the fact that she was otherwise very considerate in sparing anyone the sight of Gregor's room), and yanked the window open with eager hands, as if she was almost suffocating, and remained for a while by the window breathing deeply, even when it was still so cold.
  18. perceptible
    easily seen or detected
    However, now both his father and his mother often waited in front of Gregor's door while his sister cleaned up inside, and as soon as she came out she had to explain in detail how things looked in the room, what Gregor had eaten, how he had behaved this time, and whether perhaps a slight improvement was perceptible.
  19. inherit
    receive from a predecessor
    Was he really eager to let the warm room, comfortably furnished with pieces he had inherited, be turned into a cavern in which he would, of course, then be able to crawl about in all directions without disturbance, but at the same time with a quick and complete forgetting of his human past as well?
  20. verge
    the limit beyond which something happens or changes
    Was he then at this point already on the verge of forgetting and was it only the voice of his mother, which he had not heard for a long time, that had aroused him?
  21. dissuade
    turn away from by persuasion
    And so she did not let herself be dissuaded from her decision by her mother, who in this room seemed uncertain of herself in her sheer agitation and soon kept quiet, helping his sister with all her energy to get the chest of drawers out of the room.
  22. cherish
    be fond of
    They were cleaning out his room, taking away from him everything he cherished; they had already dragged out the chest of drawers in which the fret saw and other tools were kept, and they were now loosening the writing desk which was fixed tight to the floor, the desk on which he, as a business student, a school student, indeed even as an elementary school student, had written out his assignments.
  23. enormous
    extraordinarily large in size or extent or degree
    She walked to the side, caught sight of the enormous brown splotch on the flowered wallpaper, and, before she became truly aware that what she was looking at was Gregor, screamed out in a high pitched raw voice "Oh God, oh God" and fell with outstretched arms, as if she was surrendering everything, down onto the couch and lay there motionless.
  24. despair
    a state in which all hope is lost or absent
    Finally, in his despair, as the entire room started to spin around him, he fell onto the middle of the large table.
  25. commit
    perform an act, usually with a negative connotation
    It was clear to Gregor that his father had badly misunderstood Grete's short message and was assuming that Gregor had committed some violent crime or other.
  26. clarify
    make clear and comprehensible
    Thus, Gregor now had to find his father to calm him down, for he had neither the time nor the opportunity to clarify things for him.
  27. appropriate
    suitable for a particular person, place, or situation
    For he knew from the first day of his new life that as far as he was concerned his father considered the greatest force the only appropriate response.
  28. malice
    feeling a need to see others suffer
    Gregor remained on the floor for the time being, especially as he was afraid that his father could take a flight up onto the wall or the ceiling as an act of real malice.
  29. bombard
    cast, hurl, or throw repeatedly with some missile
    Further flight was useless, for his father had decided to bombard him.
  30. incredible
    beyond belief or understanding
    Gregor wanted to drag himself off, as if the unexpected and incredible pain would go away if he changed his position.

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