How son depends on father

How son depends on fatherThe impossibility of breaking the psychological dependence on the father


Kafka felt that his father had suppressed his will all his life. How does a son depend on his father? In The Letter to the Father, the son calls the father a “tyrant” and at the same time “the last authority”, “the measure of all things”, the highest authority. Almost throughout his son's life there are strong ambivalent feelings towards his father.


On the one hand, the son suffered from the control of his father and his inability to escape from the all-pervading dictatorship, on the other hand, his will, broken in childhood, recognized the father’s right to tyranny.


Dependence on the family was also expressed in the fact that he lived all the time with his parents. Several times he tried to leave the family, but again came back.



Traumatic childhood experience, debilitating ambivalence of feelings, lack of understanding and warmth from the family (only Ott’s sister supports him) exhausted him and whipped up the course of pulmonary tuberculosis.


"Letter to the father"

Childish fear forced him to bow his head all his life before the authority of his father. On the other hand, he was aware of all the humiliation of a similar situation, and internally fiercely protested against her.


For the second time, the father bans on his engagement, casually throwing the phrase: “You'd better go to a brothel, and if you are scared in your 37 years old, so I can keep you company.”


The son terminates the engagement, but something happens to him. He is no longer able to endure the inner pressure of his bitter feelings towards his father and for the first time in his life dares to express them. However, in what bizarre form of protest expressed ...


He writes a letter to his father, where he clothe himself in words all his protest, all his despair about the dictatorship of his father and his inability to free himself from her. However, he does not dare to send it. He calls his message "communication with spirits, ghosts." He is looking for intermediaries in the delivery of the letter. He asks the mother to hand the letter to the father, but she refuses. He is trying to use other channels to send letters, but they do not work.


The father never received the letter and did not suspect its existence. Parents survived son. The letter did not find the addressee. It moved in a temporary stream, where there was a war, the occupation of Prague, the death of sisters in a concentration camp, the disappearance of some manuscripts during a search conducted by the Gestapo in Dina Dimant’s apartment, an accidental, almost magical salvation of the archive ...


The letter did not find the addressee.But it came to us in order to awaken in us the bitterness of the consciousness of unfulfilled happiness.


Short release

Only a year before his death, the writer finally finds the strength to break with his father, get out of his care and ruthless control, leave his parents' house and gain freedom for a while. But this liberation could not eliminate the deformation of the soul. Love Dina Dimant, recognition and support of friends could not drown out the "terrible voices" of childhood.


He dies at the age of 40 in 1924, not knowing that Max Brod will not fulfill his will and will do everything to preserve his archive, which in 1961 will transfer to Kafka's niece.


In one of his last letters addressed to his friend Max Brod, Kafka writes about himself: “... if you could still strengthen the ground under his feet, put the abyss in front of him, ward off the kites from the temple, calm the storm over his head, if all this happened then for some time one could go on living. "

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