Kafka Outline

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By emaczko
Words 2409
Pages 10

Kafka wrote about the contradictions and anxieties of his time but the central theme of his works, indisputably, is the theme of alienation. Alienation is a complex subject which is linked with its vast historicity from the Judeo-Christian beginnings. To understand alienation in Kafka’s works, it is essential to understand its foundation within a socio-economic context of the modern society. In this regard, Karl Marx and his theory of alienation can help steering our way.

The human society, as Marx had stressed in the Grundrisse, “does not consist of individuals; it expresses the sum of connections and relationships in which individuals find themselves”. Human beings therefore cannot exist independently of the society but are shaped by the society they live in. Human lives are dominated by natural and impersonal forces that control society to a great extent.

While studying the nature and functioning of the capitalistic form of production Marx had discovered the uniqueness of human labor: “At the end of every labor-process, we get a result that already existed in the imagination of the laborer”. This physical and intellectual labor of man has resulted in the collective development of the productive forces and subsequently became capable of producing a surplus. By taking over control of the means of production, a particular minority class of people adroitly set themselves free from the need to produce directly and live on the labor of others. The rise of industrial capitalism witnessed the majority of the people losing control over their labor as well as the process of production since modern science and technology has invented machinery “with the wonderful power of shortening and fructifying human labour” and substituted them.

Human beings…...

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