Kafka Essay

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Lisa Senay Professor Brett March 23, 2012 Psychoanalytic Approach to Literature Kafka The human existence is one of conflicting parallels, a constant strive for equilibrium. Freud would describe our development as having much to do with the way our parent’s raised us. He would agree with the statement “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, but would also agree that it is our mission in development to apply reaction formation or interject our parent’s displays of exemplary affection or abuse. Kafka’s works reflect much of this parallel confusion. In Kafka’s letter to his father in Dearest Father, and in his short story “The Metamorphosis”, he applies Freud’s notions of eros, and the death instinct, to reflect the absurdity of life and the limits of sympathy. In Dearest Father, Kafka writes a letter to his father both blaming him for his parenting, while also trying to love him by understanding that there are two sides to their relationship. All his life, Kafka only wanted to fulfill his libido. Unfortunately for Kafka, it lie deep in his conscience that his father never saw him fit for marriage. Upon telling his father about his plans to marry, Kafka’s father would say something like; “She probably put on some sort of fancy blouse, as only those Prague Jewesses know how, and of course you instantly decided to marry her.” (75). This reflects the limits of sympathy his father displayed on his marriage, which was rendered so passionate by Kafka. It is clear here why Kafka was so frustrated in his relationship with his father and why he found it so absurd. He would tell his father : “You should have concerned yourself less with teaching your children a lesson, than with leading and exemplary life.” (pg. 60). Because he never knew if his father actually recognized how those feelings damaged him on the inside, Kafka wrote a letter to his father.The

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