Kafka and Judaism : are we all doomed?
Netto, Tanya Anastasia.
Date of Issue2011
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
The theology of redemption in the light of Judaism is a fundamental concern of Franz Kafka. In his novels, The Trial and The Castle, Kafka implicitly explores the concept of redemption by presenting issues that revolve around his character’s journey to a specific destination that is beyond reach. Kafka pushes beyond the boundaries of common literary themes and illuminates the question of one’s emancipation through the usage of biblical allusions, specifically, the Hebrew Bible. The central question is: "does the possibility of eternal life for the Jewish people exist through the eyes of Kafka?". Both novels seem to reside within the condemned realm of the protagonists, who are regarded as representations of the larger Jewish community. Many critics tend to steer towards the direction of the execration of the Jewish world through the depiction of the protagonists while the minority establishes that Kafka does not entirely disregard salvation but instead acknowledges its attainability. Despite the clear distinction of the many factors that result in damnation or redemption, the decadence of the supreme powers illustrated in the novels complicate the matter by blurring the line between the two worlds. This paper ultimately aims to explore Kafka's issue on Judaic redemption through the usage of Hebrew biblical allusions.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University