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Franz Kafka and His Father

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by

Dana Carreon

on 19 May 2015

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Transcript of Franz Kafka and His Father

Franz Kafka was the son of a wealthy Jewish family from Prague
His father was Hermann Kafka, the owner of a successful clothing store.
Franz Kafka showed an interest in writing, but his father was his only parent capable of understanding what this meant as a career.
He had three older sisters, and two younger brothers, however the brothers died in infancy, leaving Kafka as the only son in the family.
Kafka's father was very hard working and successful, so Kafka was often pressured regarding the family business.
his father was harsh and had no approval of Kafka's creativity.
Childhood
Brief an den Vater (Letter to My Father)
Questions
1. How does knowing about the relationship between Franz Kafka and his father affect your view on the Metamorphosis as a whole, and, more specifically, the relationship between Gregor and his father?
2. Do you think that Kafka's way of confronting his father was the right way to do so? Why? If not, what would be a better way for him to do so?
3. Do you think that Kafka uses his writing, specifically The Metamorphosis, to express the conflicts within his own family?
4. How do you think the way Kafka felt towards his father influenced his approach to choice in career?
5. Do you believe that the religious influences from Kafka’s heritage affected the perspective he adapted when dealing with his family concerns?
Conflicts Between Father and Son
Marriage:
Kafka's engagement to Felice Bauer was disapproved by his father, and eventually was broken off because of these emotional reasons.
Careers:
Kafka's job had to be good for his own purposes, while meeting his father's expectations.
His father also expected him to help with his businesses, leaving Kafka with barely any time to himself.
His father did not approve of his dreams to become a writer.
Religion:
Kafka didn't practice Judaism, not did he accept the religious material.
He says that his father simply wanted to practice Judaism as a way to remember his childhood.
By Dana & Sunny
Franz Kafka and His Father
Connections From the Letter to The Metamorphosis
Gregor works hard for his family, much like Franz Kafka.
Gregor's family sees him as a disgusting bug who is nothing but a detriment, and Kafka feels as if his father sees him in the same way, so long as he is not working in a respectable job.
A lot of pressure is put on Gregor, as the main income for the family, as was a lot of pressure put on Kafka by his father, to fulfill his expectations.
Kafka describes his father as a tyrant who "reinforced abusiveness with threats" and someone that Kafka "could neither think nor speak in" the presence of. In The Metamorphosis, Mr,Samsa chases Gregor around the kitchen, injuring him with whatever he can find, similar to the way the Kafka describes his father's tyranny.
Kafka also describes his mother as his savior at times, because she stopped his father's rampages, much like how Mrs. Samsa stops Mr. Samsa from killing Gregor.
Kafka's letter to his father was originally 45 pages, written and edited by hand. In the letter, Kafka expresses his true emotions regarding his father, and his childhood.
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