Kafka’s Relationships with His Parents

1. Introduction

Franz Kafka was a German writer who is best known for his novels The Metamorphosis and The Trial. He was born in Prague to a Jewish family in 1883. His father, Hermann Kafka, was an autocratic man who owned a successful hat shop. His mother, Julie, was a homemaker. Kafka had two older sisters and one younger sister. He grew up in a middle-class environment and had a comfortable childhood.

Kafka began to dislike his family when he was a teenager. He felt that his father was overbearing and that his mother supported him. Kafka also had a deep sense of emotional and financial needs that his father couldn’t meet. These needs caused tension between Kafka and his father.

2. Kafka’s early life and relationship with his father

Kafka’s relationship with his father was strained from an early age. Hermann was a demanding man who demanded perfection from his children. He was also very critical of them. This led to conflict between Hermann and Franz.

Hermann wanted Franz to become a lawyer like himself. Franz, however, had no interest in law. He wanted to be a writer. This desire caused further conflict between the two men.

The relationship between Kafka and his father worsened when Kafka began to have health problems. In 1902, Kafka was diagnosed with tuberculosis. This made him unable to attend school or work… work. He was also unable to participate in the activities that he enjoyed, such as sports.

Kafka’s health problems caused him to become increasingly dependent on his parents. This dependency angered Hermann. Hermann felt that Franz was not living up to his potential.

The final straw came when Kafka announced that he was going to write a novel. Hermann was outraged. He felt that writing was a waste of time and that it would never lead to anything productive.

Hermann’s disapproval of Kafka’s writing career caused a rift between the two men that would never be repaired. Kafka would later say that his father’s disapproval was one of the main reasons why he became a writer.

3. Kafka’s later years and relationship with his mother

Kafka’s relationship with his mother was more positive than his relationship with his father. Julie supported Kafka in his writing career and helped him financially. She also encouraged him to stay in Prague despite his health problems.

Kafka did eventually move away from Prague, but not because of his health. In 1911, he moved to Berlin to take a job with an insurance company. He only stayed in Berlin for a year before moving back to Prague.

In 1912, Kafka met Max Brod. Brod became a close friend and mentor to Kafka. He was also instrumental in getting Kafka’s work published.

Brod encouraged Kafka to continue writing despite his health problems. In 1913, Kafka began working on his most famous work, The Metamorphosis. The following year, he began working on The Trial. Both novels were published posthumously by Brod.

4. Conclusion

Kafka’s relationships with his father and mother were complex and strained. His father was autocratic and demanding, while his mother was supportive and encouraging. Kafka’s health problems also played a role in the tension between him and his father.

Despite the strained relationships, Kafka still had a deep love for his family. This is evident in his letters and in the way he spoke about them after his death.


Kafka's relationship with his father was very strained and often resulted in arguments. This had a big impact on Kafka's writing, as he often used his stories to explore the themes of father-son relationships and power dynamics.

There were several incidents in Kafka's life that influenced his views on father-son relationships. One incident was when Kafka's father refused to read any of his son's work. This made Kafka feel rejected and unimportant, leading him to believe that fathers always hold power over their sons. Another incident occurred when Kafka was a young adult and working at an insurance company. His father demanded that he quit his job and go into business with him, but Kafka refused. This led to a huge argument between the two men and further cemented Kafka's belief that fathers try to control their sons' lives.

In comparison to other important relationships in his life, such as with his mother or girlfriend, Kafka's relationship with his father was much more difficult. He felt constantly misunderstood by his father and unable to communicate with him effectively. Guilt also played a big role in their relationship, as Kafka often felt guilty for disappointing or angering his father.

If Kafka had had a better relationship with his father, it is likely that he would have been less conflicted in general and may have even enjoyed greater success in both his personal and professional life. Kafka's relationship with his father was very strained and often resulted in arguments. Kafka felt that his father was always critical of him and never really approved of anything he did. This had a big impact on Kafka's writing, as he often explored themes of alienation and isolation in his work.

There are several specific incidents that influenced Kafka's views on father-son relationships. One incident occurred when Kafka was nine years old and his father found out that he had been reading a book about sex education. Another incident happened when Kafka was sixteen years old and ran away from home after getting into an argument with his father. These experiences made Kafka feel like he could never please his father no matter what he did, which led to a lot of resentment and bitterness.