How Is Kafka’s Fear Reflected In His Notable Works?

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Franz Kafka was a 20th-century writer of modern European literature. Modernist themes of alienation and capitalism are very much highlighted in his notable works. Kafka usually was a very complex personality who was fearful of so many things, and some of his major fears are reflected in his notable works.

Franz Kafka was the only son and eldest of his siblings and felt chapped under the pressure which his father put on him. The expectations of standing out in academics and earning heavily for the family.

Most of this fear is reflected in the short story “The Judgment,” which primarily deals with the matter of isolation, which he feels in his own house and troubled or a very formal kind of relationship with the father of his son.

His father looked down upon his life choices, whether it was a friend, the idea of marriage, his achievements, or his contribution to serving the family.

  • Franz Kafka was fearful of resistance to authority

Kafka was timid and anxious enough to resist the decisions of his father. Kafka was born as a mentally delicate child, and the impulsiveness of his father kept adding to his anxiety. In his notable work, “The Trial” the person who was subjected to the criminal procedure was never told about his crime. And the central character of the trial was regressive enough to take any action against the bureaucracy.

Kafka’s father was the authority at his home, almost diminishing the image or role of his mother and Kafka’s as well. Very often, he blamed Kafka for his shortcomings, showing no way to overcome it. And taking a stand against his father to prove his innocence was a matter of complexity for Franz Kafka. So, rather, he chooses to remain the victim. In the same manner, the complexity of bureaucracy was explained in “The Trial”.

  • Franz Kafka was fearful of dissolution

Due to Herman Kafka’s over-critical nature towards Franz Kafka, Kafka possessed a very vast and complex imagination, and all this only made him smaller and smaller. Franz Kafka has a very distant kind of connection with his family members. His heart pounds and wrenchs at the same time. He was left alone to deal with his complexities.

All such fears of Kafka are reflected in his notable work “Metamorphosis”. The central character of Metamorphosis, Samsa faces an absurd situation of turning into an insect and thus couldn’t be of any value for his family and society.

  • Franz Kafka was afraid of visibility and criticism

Franz Kafka possesses a very anxious character from the beginning and his father’s impulsiveness and his mother’s regressiveness make him almost invisible. The short story collection “Contemplation” by Franz Kafka deals with the central theme of existential crisis. Most of the characters couldn’t feel valuable and themselves and they have lost all the power to become one.

They deal with the kind of anxiety which couldn’t be smoothened. Their lives go by mental suffering because they can’t attach any sensible meaning to it.

One such work is “A hunger artist,” in which the artist was starting to entertain the audience, but they kept counting his shortcomings. Kafka was bearing the weight of the world and was highly sensitive to criticism, and that could be the reason why he asked his friend Max Brod to destroy all his literary works.

  • Post published:October 5, 2023
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