Research Paper on Existential Themes in the "The Trial" by Franz Kafka

Published: 2023-01-15
Research Paper on Existential Themes in the "The Trial" by Franz Kafka
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Fiction Literature review World literature
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1845 words
16 min read

Existentialism refers to a philosophical movement that is closely linked with the philosophy of Sartre with its foundation traced from the works of Kierkegaard and Heidegger. The Trial by Kafka is largely considered to be a critique of the totalitarianism. Kafka's narratives reveal several ideas which can only be accessed and properly understood after numerous interpretations. Their endings only make sense immediately and not in unambiguous language. This is because the narratives always have a variety of meanings and none of the meanings corroborate on any specific story. This becomes the outcome of his opinions, which he has also shared with many writers in the twentieth century. He is seen as perpetually interrelating forces that lack stability in the care. For him to achieve his objective, he has to describe the world in a symbolic language and from a different point of view. In short, all the opinions have to be consistently inaccessible to him. That philosophy in which nothing can be done or said for contradiction is of ironic quality. Because any possible opinion is relativized, while the prevailing response people have is always of tragedy. And people see the Kafka's heroes trying to unite the debris in their world. The paper seeks to explore the analysis of the existential themes in the novel.

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The author's universe is basically of commotions, violence, and that is the rationale for challenges in deriving particular theories or religious behavior from his viewpoint. It is of important to acknowledge that violence and the paradox correspond to the existential concept. On the occurrence of activities can reveal the morass that takes place in his thought (Dodd 16). For a proper understanding of the Kafka's concepts and symbols, is by obscuring his writing with experiences that lack meanings that he enlightened himself by his art. Expressionism is the most popular evolutional concept that is mentioned about the Kafka's perspective because its literature coincided with Kafka's writings as from 1912 up to 1924 (Aggerholm 142). In corroborating this, expressionism has common characteristics with Kafka's writings. For instance, the way he objected peoples' view on the scientific and technological viewpoint. Although by considering some of his ideas on some expressionists during that time, he cannot conform to their philosophies. He has demonstrated that the acts of some of the expressionists were absurd and he would distinct himself from them. In numerous illustrations by Kokoschka, Kafka proposed that he did not understand and that it could only confirm the violence. According to Kokoschka, he did not want the exaggeration by the expressionists and their insufficient workmanship.

However, Kafka was not the expert because it was Flaubert; he was attracted by these characters in other people. He was very doubtful and hostile with the demand of the expressionists, and such characters disgusted him. His connection with the existentialists is too cumbersome because then the name only is having no meaning completely. For instance, some existentialists such as Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, and Kierkegaard had a different viewpoint as opposed to others like Sartre, Camus among others with the events whose existentialism has been compared since World War II (Aggerholm 145). These people shared very little in common regarding their political, religion, and philosophical perspectives; however, they share some traits, as shown in the work of Kafka. The author remained fascinated and overwhelmed with the main themes of all sorts of existentialists' views, thus the problem of responsibility and commitment in the absurd world (Pattison 162). As a result of the deprivation of the metaphysical direction, people are supposed to behave morally because death rules over everything in the world. A man should always determine the composition of moral conduct even if he cannot predict the outcome of his actions. Consequently, man has to protect his freedom of choice as an objective in his endeavor.

The fear of the existentialist heroes was about their failure to decide and to show commitment for so many possibilities in which all of them did not show any sense of legitimacy or worth. Like Camus who is doomed, the existentialists caught themselves in a disguised situation trying to create dignity in the absurd universe. Contrary to Sisyphus, Kafka's champions remained constantly drifters in the events they caused. These people were the modern heroes of Kafka and the drifters in the universe devoid of philosophical support and facing the problems of alienation and absurdity (Dodd 19). And now they become the contemporary relatives of hesitator Hamlet who was the victim in his consciousness and coincidence. Kafka has demonstrated the concept of the absurdity in his numerous stories, and he believed it was to the quintessence of human circumstances. The incompatibility of the human law, the divine law, and his lack of ability to solve problems was the cause of estrangement in which his heroes face (Aggerholm 149). Even though it is challenging, heroes of Kafka struggle to agree with the world; they are caught homeless not only in their contriving but also in a series of incidents and accidents. The consequence of absurdity is estrangement, and the author deals with this disaster, thus dealing with an extremely existentialist theme.

Kafka's champions are faced with loneliness because they are found in between the evil and the good, so they cannot resolve its contradiction and at the same time cannot determine its scope. Deprived of any common reference and impaled on their limited goals of the law, they decided not to hear by their surroundings. They got isolated to the extent of not getting any information. The Kafka hero was approached with serious questions about his identity; he failed to give any tangible answer (Pattison 167). The author argues that his hero stood between the vanished world to which lived in a long time and the contemporary world to which he does not belong. For this case, he does more than problems of expression. This goes hand in hand with Kafka's world that comprises of several endless possibilities and not demarcated opposites. These are not more than the short-lived expressions, not passing what they are supposed to pass and hence making the short-lived scrappy quality of the Kafka's narratives. With the fact that Kafka knows the impossibilities that language caused in him and the trial of the limits of literature, he emerges to be a contemporary writer (Aggerholm 152). Kafka is traditional in the sense that his syntactical, grammatical and semantic compounds in his writings are never destroyed. Kafka had stopped bad aspirations because he has passion for tracing human logics until when he failed. He strictly follows the empirical methodology and enhancing his performance when he stipulates that his heroes dreadfully comprehend the universe through the normal way.

Because the heroes cannot afford to be heard but are less understood, they are getting involved in adventures that nobody knows about, but the information is concealed to themselves only. The audience suggests that Kafka is sharing into the heroes' fortune, and therefore, it is possible for him to identify himself with them. Since nobody is in the story and so the hero cannot communicate his destiny too, the protagonist seems to think about his stories repeatedly. This solipsistic character, Kafka, has communicated with many existential writers; however, the existentialist means self-realization (Dodd 27). Furthermore, Kafka was properly used to Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky writings, and it has cost him to think and rethink about the differences and similarities in their perspective view. The most common opinion for Kafka and Kierkegaard is their cumbersome relationships to their lovers, and their trend of failures in marriage also shows their slight difference. Kafka thinks of negativity when he speaks of bachelorship and the hermit's presence. On the other hand, Kierkegaard is an enthusiastic single man who saw a heavenly commandment in his rejection of women (Pattison 174). Kafka believed that bachelorhood is a symbol of rejection from the communal joy and happiness, and he ponders the matter, and this made him an underprivileged existentialist.

In contrary to what Kierkegaard did where he grasped his agony by cautious bound into faith, forgetting all the intellectual propaganda, Kafka and the protagonists did not manage to succeed in conquering the essentials goal. He remained strong in through his power, his intellect, and his effort to solve issues with rationality and empirically (Aggerholm 158). Kafka does not describe the universe as inspirational, but he describes the universe in a paradoxical and in a non-communicational aspect; he describes the universe rationally and therefore, insufficiently. It is like if Kafka was forced to explain a concept which he does not understand and he is not even supposed to understand at all. Kafka was not that person who could work with belief at the same time he was not a person of both flesh and bones to venture into steps already decided upon and based on the experience like Camus who got involved in the Nazi terror in France (Dodd 33). Kafka did not see this world belonging to any religion. He usually criticizes Kierkegaard's inspirational spirituality; however, it can be hostile to suggest that he surrendered all his confidence in the indestructible manner of the world It is more plausible to see that Huld, who is a representative of all the forces in the universe, want people to experience easy life by depriving life in its meaning. Leni degraded the client sexually and made them think that she could help them and again Huld by persisting that he has all the assistance given that his clients are ready to surrender on their personalities (Pattison 189). If people can substitute consumption, sexual permissions, or political totalitarianism for their strategy, they can be seen as representatives in the universe. Their motive is to see people move away from liberty and accountability. This was evident when Kafka was saying that nobody could say they lacked the faith and that the simple idea is that they lived was endless in the worth of faith.

However, for Dostoevsky, the difference with Kafka consists of the hard-hearted perception and the proper conscience in it. Just the way his characters lived in the rooms bare, for example, the walls of the hunger cage for the artist, the Gregor Samsa's, inexorable, animal's maize and the persistence prison walls of their consciences. The amazing part of Kafka's narrative is that of integrities and non-science. Kafka became more superior to Dostoevsky because what is shown as melodramatic relation becomes the desperate aside of soul in Kafka's sections (Pattison 181). Kafka's philosophical concept is an open fact. It is too much of human experience of the events that occur around the world. His heroes come face to face with the secularized divinity whose characteristic is mysterious and unspecified (Dodd 36). In spite of being faced with the challenges of absurdity in their experience, the great heroes do not stop their quest to puzzle the problems. Finally, Kafka explores his writing as a moral code of conduct and a language of the mysterious. It is worth noting that this code of morality is not a ticket to avoid the truth but to explore facts. That was the technique that he used to reprimand the world as a whole without telling to which level.

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