What is the significance of the title "The Judgement" by Franz Kafka?

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Published in 1913, "The Judgment" is a short story penned by Franz Kafka . The title, derived from the judgment placed on the main character Georg Bendemann, is presented in an incongruous manner that leaves more questions than it does answers. It's a story that pushes back against...

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Published in 1913, "The Judgment" is a short story penned by Franz Kafka. The title, derived from the judgment placed on the main character Georg Bendemann, is presented in an incongruous manner that leaves more questions than it does answers. It's a story that pushes back against any reductive reading, yet the title plays a significant role throughout the narrative. Toward the beginning of the story, the main character tells his father about a rather benign incident of letter writing with a friend in which he revealed his own engagement to Frieda. Tossing the blankets aside and standing on the bed, Georg's father mocks, shames, and ridicules his son. Taken aback and reeling from his father's admonishments, Georg unwittingly embarks on a relentless pursuit of judgment from his domineering parent. Yet it isn't only his father's judgments that thwart Georg's efforts at happiness; it's also his own. Like the author himself, Georg approaches marriage with a great deal of trepidation. Frieda symbolizes a world that Georg desires yet is ambivalent and reluctant to pursue. To this end, "The Judgment" is about a series of judgments—internal and external—that the main character faces.

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"The Judgment" is a short story by Kafka about the relationship between a son and his father. In this story, the son's attempts to live his life are questioned by his father. For example, when Georg (the son) tells his father about the letter he is writing to a friend in Russia, the father expresses doubt at the friend's existence. 

The story ends with Georg's death by drowning, to which he is sentenced by his father. This sentence is the result of the"judgment" Georg feels from his father. The judgment is externalized, partially because of the uncertainty surrounding the situation. The father-son dynamic is complex, with Georg's demanding father contributing to Georg's immense guilt. By naming the story "The Judgment," Kafka shifts the focus to judgment as an externalized force. Perhaps the weight of Georg's death is on the judgment itself, rather than either his or his father's particular roles.

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