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

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bryankc12 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"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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