Franz Kafka is regarded as one of the most influential authors of 20th century. His style of writing has created such as an impact that it led to the creation of a new word: “Kafkaesque”. An icon of dark existentialist and absurdist literature, Kafka frequently wrote about themes of isolation, alienation, and authoritarian oppression. His well-known works include the short stories “The Metamorphosis”, and “ The Judgment” as well as his prominent “Letter to His Father”. The real conditions of his life, especially his family life, are certainly a model for the family interactions of the stories.
Franz Kafka imagined strange fictional space in which his characters attempt to make sense of a frightening world. Kafka’s writing style seems straightforward, but it depicts and describes the irrationality of life. Kafka‘s personal life bleeds into his work. In “The Metamorphosis” there are similarities between Kafka and Gregor’s lives. Gregor represents how Kafka felt growing up, and their relationships with their fathers parallel. Kafka portrays his tragic flaw through Gregor’s guilt and lack of confidence, which ultimately led to Gregor’s isolation, alienation and death. Both Kafka’s and Gregor’s insecurities are based on their relationship with their fathers.
Kafka had a difficult relationship with both of his parents. His mother, Julie, was a devoted homemaker who lacked the intellectual depth to understand her son’s dreams to become a writer. Kafka‘s father, Hermann, had a forceful personality that often overwhelmed the Kafka home. He was a success in business, making his living retailing men’s and women’s clothes. In the letters to his father, Kafka bears his heart and explains in excruciating detail and through specific examples how his temperamental, narcissistic, and discouraging father failed him, and by doing so, inflicted irreparable wounds upon Kafka’s psyche.
Everything Kafka discussed with his father, from his emotions to his writing pursuits was summarily dismissed and this made it impossible for him to have any semblance of confidence in himself. He struggled greatly with relationships, breaking of two engagements and being a serial cheater owing to his difficult relationship with his father which also inspired much of the hopelessness and absurdity common to his works. This also resulted in him being unable to be satisfied with his writings which created much self inferiority complex in him.
At the time of his death Kafka‘s name was known only to small group of readers, partly because he had low confidence and did not promote himself. It was only after Max Brod went against the demands of the dying Kafka that his work gained fame. His books garnered favor during World War II, especially, and greatly influenced German literature.