Kafka developed what 3 characteristics because his father was so hard on him?

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In 1919, Franz Kafka wrote a forty-seven page letter to his father, Hermann. The letter is a rich primary source of information about their relationship and the kind of man that Franz Kafka became. A translation of the letter was published posthumously in 1966.

Their relationship was difficult, to say...

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In 1919, Franz Kafka wrote a forty-seven page letter to his father, Hermann. The letter is a rich primary source of information about their relationship and the kind of man that Franz Kafka became. A translation of the letter was published posthumously in 1966.

Their relationship was difficult, to say the least.  Hermann Kafka felt that he had struggled and sacrificed his whole life for his only surviving son, Franz.  Consequently, he had explicit expectations and standards for his son, including the woman he would marry and how he would make his living.

The first characteristic that Franz Kafka could be said to possess was honesty. In his letter to his father, Kafka confesses that he is, and always has been, afraid of him.  It is not easy to own and articulate our fears, particularly to the source of them.  The fact that Kafka was able to do so is remarkable.

Another characteristic Kafka could be said to have developed in reaction to his father's emotional abuse is, perhaps counterintuitively, compassion.  It would be understandable if Kafka entertained feelings of hatred toward his father, but even in their years of estrangement, Kafka felt compassion for his father; we know this from the letter where he says, "You are, after all, at bottom a kindly and softhearted person." Kafka is somehow able to identify a good quality in his father.

A third characteristic that Kafka developed was resilience.  His father made it very clear that he disapproved of his son's career aspirations.  Instead of surrendering to his father's wish for another career (law), Kafka endured the withering disapproval of his father and carried on with what he wanted to do: write.

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