Franz Kafka's Themes

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A.P English Literature Research Paper:

The father-son relationship in The Metamorphosis, The Judgment, and A Hunger Artist is a complex and emotional fascination that is based on Franz Kafka’s life and is present as the main conflict in many of his other short stories. Kafka’s negative and struggling attitude towards the father figure in his works is based on his personal life as described from the translated works Das Schloss, a biography about Kafka’s life in his native tongue of German. “Hermann Kafka was a domestic tyrant, who directed his anger against his son. Kafka also had three sisters, all of whom perished in Nazi camps. (1)”

This short passage in the opening paragraph of his German biography gives any reader of his work insight to the hardship he faced as a child, and understandably how he would focus this abuse into his writing. The Judgment is regarded as Kafka’s breakthrough work, where it establishes his trend of “conflict between father and son that produces guilt in the younger character and is ultimately reconciled through suffering and expiation. (2)”

The Judgment presents a valid argument of three types of human relationships that a person could be going through, in this case it was the main character George. The first is the relationship between George and his friend in Russia; the second is George's relationship with his fiancée and the third is Kafka’s infamous way of depicting George’s relationship with his father. (3)” The way the father refers to his son in The Judgment designs how the rest of the short story will display the eternal struggle that Kafka describes in his work. "An innocent child, yes, that you were, truly, but still more truly have you been a devilish human being! (4)”

Parallel to Franz Kafka’s actual life, the father son struggle portrayed in The Judgment is also used in another one of Kafka’s works, The Metamorphosis. This piece of Kafka’s writing is essential to portray his full spectrum view of a struggle...
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