Write a blog post that is a close reading of the exchange between Georg and his fiancée Frieda in Franz Kafka’s The Judgment. We’ll begin by focusing mostly on the first five or so pages of the story on Friday and will look at the relationship between Georg and the Friend and how Frieda plays into it. Consider the differences between Georg and the Friend, what they both do, how they are described, and what they might ‘represent’. How does Frieda respond to the existence of this Friend in the exchange with Georg? What might be so problematic about the Friend? What does the Friend threaten? That is, why does Frieda say “I really do feel offended” (61) and what is so important about Georg’s response, “That is how I am, and that is how he must take me” (62)?
I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.
– Letter to Oskar Pollak, 27 January 1904
Yesterday it occurred to me that I did not always love my mother as she deserved and as I could, only because the German language prevented it. The Jewish mother is no ‘Mutter’, to call her ‘Mutter’ makes her a little comic […], we give a Jewish woman the name of a German mother, but forget the contradiction that sinks into the emotions so much the more heavily, ‘Mutter’ is peculiarly German for the Jew, it unconsciously contains, together with the Christian splendor Christian coldness also, the Jewish woman who is called ‘Mutter’ therefore becomes not only comic but strange. Mama would be a better name if only one didn’t imagine ‘Mutter’ behind it.
– Diaries, 24 October 1911
The tremendous world I have in my head. But how free myself and free it without being torn to pieces. And a thousand times rather be torn to pieces than retain it in me or bury it. That, indeed, is why I am here, that is quite clear to me.
–Diaries, 21 June 1913
I am nothing but literature and can and want to be nothing else.
– Diaries, 21 August 1913
In order to more understand about Expressionism, let look over what impressionism is first.Impressionism can be considered the first distinctly modern movement in painting. Developing in Paris in the 1860s. Impressionism is generally considered to be a spontaneous method of painting in which an artist attempts to capture the impression of light in a scene. The Impressionists broke from the traditional painting methods of their day and applied paint in small touches of pure color rather than mix the paint and apply it in broad strokes using a painting knife or a brush.
After then, the society changed a lot. The new movements, especially the French Revolution changed people’s mind to think what freedom and society should be. Inspired by these ideas and capture the Impressionism expression style, numerous writing and painting arts were created to express their inside emotions.
In that point (19th century), as more and more significant activities occurred and enlighten in Europe, some artists began to use a typical skill to express their art pieces, which we called them expressionists later days. he Expressionist emphasis on individual perspective has been characterized as a reaction to positivism and other artistic styles such as Naturalism and Impressionism. The skill was used in the modern sense as early as 1850 and it traced to paintings exhibited in 1901 in Paris by artist Julien Auguste Herve.
After then, so many Germany philosophers stated to think and question the religious, one of the famous was Friedrich Nietzsche. In his so famous book” Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, the Zarathustra claimed that “God is dead” and its ours, killed god.
As influenced by such these irregular thoughts and criticizes, many and many artistes joined this movement of expressionism. In 1905, a group of four German artists, led by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, formed Die Brücke(the Bridge) in the city of Dresden
In 1911, a like-minded group of young artists formed Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) in Munich.
Until 1913, the movement initially and most predominant in painting, poetry and the theatre,Thus, German Expressionism refers to a number of related creative movements beginning in Germany before the First World War that reached a peak in Berlin during the 1920s. In this movement most precursors of the movement were not German.There have been expressionist writers of prose fiction, as well as non-German speaking expressionist writers.
The movement effect on many artist areas, there were subsequent expressionist works.
1: Dance 2: Sculpture 3: Cinema 4: Literature 5: Music 6: Architecture 7: Visual Arts
The most recognized one were visual and literature. In literature, expressionism is often considered a revolt against realism and naturalism and seeking to achieve a psychological or spiritual reality rather than record external events in logical sequence. For instance, the in prose, the early stories and novels of Alfred Döblinwere influenced by Expressionism andFranz Kafka is sometimes labelled an Expressionist. There are some writers and works of Expressionist :
- Franz Kafka(1883–1924): “The Metamorphosis” (1915), The Trial(1925), The Castle (1926)
- Alfred Döblin(1857–1957): Berlin Alexanderplatz(1929)
- Wyndham Lewis(1882–1957)[
- Djuna Barnes(1892–1982): Nightwood(1936)
- Malcolm Lowry(1909–57): Under the Volcano(1947)
- Ernest Hemingway
- Patrick White(1912–90)
In visual art filed, Paris as a reaction to the more passive style of Impressionism. The heart of the expressionism lies the idea that one conveys emotional experience over physical reality.
Expressionist visual artists list:
- Armenia: Martiros Saryan
- Australia: Sidney Nolan, Charles Blackman, John Perceval, Albert Tucker and Joy Hester
- France: Georges Rouault, Georges Gimel, Gen Paul, Bernard Buffet and Chaim Soutine
- Germany: Ernst Barlach, Max Beckmann, Fritz Bleyl, Heinrich Campendonk, Otto Dix, Conrad Felixmüller, George Grosz, Erich Heckel, Carl Hofer, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Käthe Kollwitz,
- Italy: Emilio Giuseppe Dossena
- Mexico: Mathias Goeritz (German émigré to Mexico), Rufino Tamayo
- Netherlands: Charles Eyck, Willem Hofhuizen, Herman Kruyder, Jaap Min, Jan Sluyters, Vincent van Gogh, Jan Wiegers and Hendrik Werkman
- Norway: Edvard Munch, Kai Fjell
- Poland: Henryk Gotlib
- Portugal: Mário Eloy, Amadeo de Souza Cardoso
- Russia: Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Alexej von Jawlensky, Natalia Goncharova, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, and Marianne von Werefkin
- South Africa: Maggie Laubser, Irma Stern
- Sweden: Axel Törneman
- Switzerland: Carl Eugen Keel, Cuno Amiet, Paul Klee
- Ukraine: Alexis Gritchenko (Ukraine-born, most active in France), Vadim Meller
- United Kingdom: Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff, Lucian Freud, Patrick Heron
- USA: Ivan Albright, Milton Avery, George Biddle, Hyman Bloom, Peter Blume, Charles Burchfield, David Burliuk, Stuart Davis, Lyonel Feininger, Wilhelmina Weber Furlong, Elaine de Kooning, Willem de Kooning, Beauford Delaney, Arthur G. Dove, Norris Embry, Philip Evergood, Kahlil
the story starts with the main character Gerog writing a letter to his good old friend from childhood.
while they both are businessman running a small business, Gerog was much more successful than the friend, since, the friend is a completely wild card. A man who still act like a child and doesn’t seem to carry responsibility for himself, instead, he is treating his own life very casually and decides to be a bachelor for good. he is the definition of “reckless” who simply doesn’t care about other’s opinions and does whatever he wants whenever he feels like it. On the other hand, Gerog seems to have a much more humble personality of his own. the mature, grown-up man who follows the rule of his family and respects others.
continue on the story, Gerog ‘s fiance Frieda find out this special friend of Gerog and wonder if he comes to their wedding. Gerog responses that the friend may not want to come as his current life wasn’t so great, and fully understand his friend situation but Frieda disagrees with Gerog’s decision and recognizes that the friend is causing arguments between them. As Gerog has a very close relationship with the friend, the idea of bachelorhood, a man being single start threatening Frida. it is a critical moment when Gerog reply “That is how I am, and that is how he must take me” he is referring the friend as himself. He doesn’t want to obey from others and desires to live with his own decisions, he especially after his mother passing away leaving him for the family business.
In the story “The Judgment” written by Franz Kafka, it talks about the Georg’s complex relationships of his family and friend. The relationship between Georg and the friend doesn’t like the normal friendship because they never don’t meet each other, they just communicate through the letters. Georg and his friend are both business man, but they have totally different life traces and experiences. Georg was successful in doing business, and has an engagement with Frieda, and start getting into a happy family. By the contrary, Georg’s friend has the opposite life track. He is in the foreign country Russia and doing the business, but his business doesn’t run well. He’s in a bachelorhood, he doesn’t have a good social skill and relationship the people surround him. The existence of George’s friend might be problematic because he threatens Georg and his Frieda’s relationship. Georg is really hesitated when his fiancée asks him to invite his friend to join their wedding. Georg’s hesitation made Frieda feel curious and doubtful that why George doesn’t what his friend know their marriage. George’s reaction finally made Frieda feel offended. Frieda thinks George might want to hide something and doesn’t want to tell her the truth. Also, the existence of the friend threatens the relationship between Georg and his father, his father doubts the existence of Georg’s friend which break out a quarrel between them. Georg’s father thinks that Georg is deceiving himself. After reading this story, I think Georg’s friend is not really exist. His friend might be an illusion which Georg wants to be. Because he was growth up under his father’s strict control, and he has to facing different pressure from daily life. He might feel tired, and stressful, that’s why there would be an illusion in his mind. He images that he has a friend who has the opposite situation with him, the failure and unsatisfactory life might make Georg find a little bit confidence which shows that he’s not the worst.
Georg and his friend are both merchants but own businesses in different countries. They have been friend for many years, and therefore Georg cares about his friend a lot. He pays attention to content of each letter that he writes to his friend because he does not want to write something that can hurt his friend. For example, when he knows that his friend’s business in Russia is not doing well, Kafka uses almost one page to describe Georg’s thinking process when he tries to write a letter in proper way that will not offend his friend, especially when Georg is more successful than his friend in terms of business operation. However, it is just how he perceives as a proper way. He thinks of all possible outcomes of different pieces of advice and eventually decides to do nothing. Georg does not even ask if his friend actually needs help or not and believes that he finds out the best solution in response to his friend’s business.
Later on in the story, Georg mentions his engagement with Frieda Brandenfeld. He tells her that his friend may not present in their wedding after Frieda persists that she has rights to know all his friends. Frieda’s response shows that she has the desire to control and takes it really seriously, so she says, “If you have such friend, Georg, you should never have gotten engaged in the first place,” and “I really do feel offended.” The possible absence of Georg’s friend indicates her loss of control. Nevertheless, Georg still wants to keep the friendship with his friend regardless of Frieda’s words by stating that “That is how I am, and that is how he must take me.” His response shows that no matter what happens on him and who he actually is, his friend will still tolerate and consider him as friend.
The protagonist of “The Judgement” is Georg, who is getting married to Frieda. A good portion of this story is about Georg writing a letter to his childhood friend from Russia, who he has an odd relationship with. Georg’s friend is described as a less successful, single, and lonely version of Georg. However, there are parts of the letter that almost make it seem like Georg is actually jealous of him. The whole point of the letter he was writing was to let his friend know that he was getting marries, but doesn’t mention it until the very end of the letter, saying very little about Frieda and the engagement.
There is conflict within Georg because he is unsure of the life he really wants. On one hand, he his living comfortably, is inheriting a successful business, and is about to get married. While, his friend is living the bachelor life because he is more independent, but with a less successful business. Although he seems to be having the normal life that he believes he should, it comes off as the life he doesn’t want. Why else would the description of his distant friend be put in the way that he has everything Georg doesn’t.
Georg’s letter to his childhood friend rose issues with Frieda because of how it was interpreted. Frieda wanted to meet all of Georg’s friends but his avoidance in sharing the news of their marriage got her worried. She feared that if this friend came to the wedding, he might cause Georg to feel a certain way and change his mind about the marriage. The difficulty Georg faced with telling his friend the wedding was visible in the letter, and Frieda can’t be blamed for reacting the was she did because of it.
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Compared with his friend’s life, Georg seemed more successful. However, his success was based on comparison and self-arrogant. His friend was dissatisfied with his business and life because he did not have any social dealing with native companies. It says, “He was running a business, which, although initially very promising, appear to have been stagnating for quite a while, as the friend rarely visit.’ This shows unsuccessful life of his friend. However, Georg’s business was unexpected prospered. And this difference make Georg felt he is superior than others. His feeling of success was built on others failure.
Georg’s treatment of his friend is also can be tell on the way he talked to others. Like, “What could one write to such a man?” Here, he condemns him, and yet he pities him; he considers persuading him to return, and yet is afraid of the responsibility connected with it. He keeps telling to him the idea of letting his friend know about his flourishing business, it said: “Should he perhaps be advised to go back home, transfer his livelihood here, resume all the friendship.” This shows that his self-esteem and value was based on others recognization rather than spiritual success. Georg rejected this and does not care about it, meaning he repelled the communication and outside world. yet insists it would look peculiar if he did it now. Georg wished other to accept his idea and his success, like ““That is how I am, and that is how he must take me”. This shows his characteristics of selfish, intolerance, lack of commnunication, leading his tragedy finally.
The Judgement story is primarily talking about main character Georg and his father. Basically, it is all about conflicts with George’s father that George is described as a very stressful person. Nevertheless, he is shown as a much accomplished man “successful” than his old friend. Georg’s old friend who lives in Russia stimulated Georg’s motion that Georg misses him so much. Georg’s friend is described as a very weak and isolated person that he is not even able to settle in Russia, because he failed in his business. Since Georg was thinking about his marriage, he concerned whether he sends “invitation letter” to his friend or not. Though, George sent the letter, but the problem was getting bigger and bigger at that moment because Georg’s father was interrupted. I guess this story is also mentioning about some implications of society’s statue that little involved in certain classes as well. Georg’s father is described as a sarcastic person in this story that he doesn’t say good things to Georg’s fiancé. I believe this also aided her to say “offended” as well. Perhaps, Georg felt so guilty about his life because of his father. That is why he jumped into the river and drowned himself. Literally, he didn’t many choices that he had to say “That is how I am, and that is how he must take me”.
George’s relationship to his fiance Frieda is a very open relationship, where George seems to be very honest about what he does. Their relationship also doesn’t show the complications of being engaged with someone, but rather seem quite into each other. The fact that he is marrying a girl from a well-to-do family shows that class is still somewhat relevant in this situation. George also has a very peculiar relationship with his pen pal. In comparison to George, the pen pal seems to lead an unsatisfactory life, and the way George talks about him makes it seem like he enjoys gloating about his successes, even though he claims he doesn’t. George constantly compares the success of his business and home to the failure of the friend, whose business is barely afloat and who prefers to lead the bachelor life, most likely not by choice. The friend threatens the foundation of Freida and George’s relationship, because he represents everything that George isn’t. Freida perceives this relationship between these 2 men as weird, because they are complete opposites, and the way it is described seems like George only writes to this friend out of pity. The friend also represents failure and the bachelor lifestyle, which Frieda believes is a reason this friendship shouldn’t exist, especially when George is engaged. She believes an engaged man shouldn’t associate himself with people like the friend, and says she is offended that not only the friendship exists, but that George is always honest with the friend with everything but their engagement, and that they are both at fault.. George also explains that he refuses to change for the improvement of the friendship, and that the fact that they are complete opposites doesn’t mean he has to stoop to the friends level.
George thought himself more successful than his friend because his family business has been prosperous unlike his friend’s situation. His friend was described as a sick, unsuccessful, and lonely person, who lives in abroad, although his friend never said in the way that George thought. George assumes his friend’s condition and thinks he has everything that his friend does not have such as successful business and an affluent fiancé. From George’s view, I think it represents the important elements for life are merely successes in business and marriage. Therefore, George is being considerate of his friend’s feeling in that his friend does not have such success in life and pretending by not saying the truth. He is giving a considerable thought to his friend.
Frieda thought his friend won’t come to the wedding and George replied it will bother him. I think he does not know what is really important and what it not. Frieda was offended because George wanted to hold back the truth about marriage which should not be hided in any situation. The reason why George wanted not to tell it is because his friend would feel “pressed”, “envy”, and “dissatisfied”. All of those are merely his assumptions. After she expressed her feeling about the hiding, George decided to tell his marriage. He might realize that his excessive consideration for his friend is meaningless. And therefore, he decided to write a letter to his friend truthfully.
“The Judgment” is a short story that present the relationships between family, friends, and marriage. In this story, Georg the main character who always write letters to the unnamed friend in Russia, was struggle to reveal his engagement with a girl name Frieda who is from a wealthy family background. Even though he decided that he wanted to inform his friend about his Fiancée, he went to his father and asked for advices. The fighting and argument between Georg and his father is the major conflict of the story. Even though the author didn’t mention about history background previously, we can understand the whole situation through the argument. Georg and his friend are both characterized as business man, but the difference between them was that Georg always rely on other people, which his father descried him as “weak” and “not mature” while his friend, are independent that he is able to live alone and do what he wants. Georg was under his father’s control that “his father, by insisting on doing everything his way in business, had prevented Georg from pursuing any real activity of his own”. Georg was growing in such environment and lack of love from mother, since his mother passed away. On the other hand, his fiancée was deem as a strong woman who make decision and concern about herself. She forced Georg to inform his friend about their relationship and insisted him to do so otherwise she claims that there is no meaning of the engagement.
Frieda claims that she has the right to meet all his friends. In addition, Frieda says “I really do feel offended” because She may think that Georg is not transparent about their relationship.
Georg’s respond plays an important role in here because it shows how Georg was trying to make decision on his own by doing what he think is the best. He was so under control by everyone. In his letter to his friend in Russia, he writes “do not concern yourself about anyone else and do only as you think best.” This explains why he said “That is how I am.” He is trying be who he wanted to be, however, he is not quite mature as his friend. But “that is how he must take me”, Georg saying that he may not be the same person as his friend, who he is approaching to, but “his friend” need to accept who he is.
Georg’s friend is a threat to himself, since his father claims that his friend is a better person than him.
After talking to his father, Georg feel even more depressed, and admit his personal failure in life. And he commit suicide. Throughout the story, we can tell that Georg was struggle by getting over the sorrow of his mother’s death. And he also sees himself as a failure. The life of his friend in Russia, is something that he wants to be achieve as a mature, independent, and free man. Therefore, we can say that Georg represent the dark side of the character, and his friend is the opposite. Also, we can connect it to the topic of mind and body. If Georg’s friend is imaginary, then his friend represents the mind, while Georg represents the body.