LiteratureWorld Literature

How Surrealist Characteristics are Found in Franz Kafka?

3 Mins read

Who was Franz Kafka?

Franz Kafka was a German novelist and short story author, extensively considered one of the main figures of Twentieth-century literature. It usually features isolated protagonists dealing with weird or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers. It has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential nervousness, guilt, and absurdity. His greatest recognized works embody: The Metamorphosis, The Trial, The Judgement, A dream and In the penal colony. His work has influenced an enormous range of writers, critics, artists, and philosophers throughout the Twentieth and twenty first centuries. His work is characterised by nervousness and alienation, and his characters usually face absurd conditions. He is well-known for his novels The Trial, through which a person is charged with a criminal offense that’s by no means named, and The Metamorphosis, through which the protagonist wakes to seek out himself transformed into an insect.

Kafka’s work belongs to a convention of storytelling that seeks to glimpse the reality beyond the immediate, materials world .Throughout the dream, the protagonist’s internal conflicts are uncovered, inflicting him to expertise the painful absurdity of life.


Surrealism in literature may be defined as an artistic try to bridge collectively reality and the imagination. Surrealists search to overcome the contradictions of the aware and unconscious minds by creating unreal or weird stories filled with juxtapositions. It is characterised by a dreamlike narrative that usually features unbelievable and even absurd elements.

Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is a classic instance of surrealistic literature. Using surrealist imagery, concepts, or poetic techniques, Kafka makes an attempt to stretch the boundaries, free the thoughts, and make readers think.

Read About: Themes in Kafka’s story The Judgment

Characteristics of Surrealism:

Surrealism is supposed to be unusual and shocking. It is supposed to push the envelope in a manner that forces individuals out of their comfortable concepts, so much in order that it has even been recognized to cause riots. This method is used to assist readers make new connections and develop the reader’s reality or reasonably the reader’s thought of what reality is. They pull from Freudian concepts of free association as a strategy to steer readers away from societal affect and open up the person’s thoughts. Surrealism makes use of images and metaphors to compel the reader to suppose deeper and reveal subconscious meaning. Instead of counting on plot, surrealist writers concentrate on the character’s discovery and imagery to drive readers to dig into their unconscious and analyze what they discover that usually defy logic.

Surrealism in Kafka:

Kafka makes use of surrealism to make certain truths about his characters extra striking and disturbing to the reader. It may be clearly understood by his main works as follows:

The Metamorphosis:

The metamorphosis portraits the restrictions that come from being a Human. That is:

1) Interpreting the world

2) The system introduced by society

3) The shifting sense of identity

4) Human Relationship

It refers to having a Dreamlike quality or in literature producing fantasy. It is usually present by combining issues that don’t belong collectively. For instance: Gregor doesn’t appear to care that he’s a cockroach, his response may be very dreamlike. It can be very uncommon, that even after realizing he’s an insect he simply cares about being late from work.

Read About: “In the Penal Colony”: Themes

A Country Doctor

A Country Doctor is the short story that exemplifies two main parts of Surrealism that are a dreamlike quality and absurdity. As a surrealist work, the story’s emphasis is more on the dream world which allows the subconscious thoughts to be explored than on the truth of the exterior world.

The journey from the physician’s courtyard to the patient’s farm yard is sort of a miraculous journey from the waking world to the dream world where the physician’s hidden, subconscious truths are uncovered. In the oppressive and nightmarish scenario, generally referred to as Kafkaesque, the physician is affected by failure, frustration, guilt, and hopelessness to the purpose where the absurdity of mankind is revealed. The absurd world that he experiences lacks congruity, consistency, and logic. The highest rigidity happens when the physician’s clothes are stripped off. He finds himself bare and he feels betrayed. There is not any value in life. The gradual pace of the horses on the way back to his courtyard intensifies the absurdity of the scenario which retains torturing him. The story is great in its details and really precisely replicates the expertise of a nightmare, however on the sentence level it’s written fairly clearly.

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