Date of Award

1-1-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Department

English

First Advisor

Jennifer 
Ruth

Subjects

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) -- Criticism and interpretation, Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) -- Criticism and interpretation

DOI

10.15760/honors.8

Abstract

For both Hannah Arendt and Franz Kafka modernity is a matter of loss. Arendt articulates this loss as coeval with the rise of 'society' and the subsumption of the public sphere by the private. Kafka is more oblique, but I believe his fiction describes the same kind of socialization process, a process that leads to alienation, loss of agency, and ultimately, failure. By reading Kafka through an Arendtian lens I show how each writer's conception of modernity complements the others. By integrating Walter Benjamin's influential reading, I show how Kafka's ideas of 'progress' and 'knowledge', subsumed under the social, inevitably leads to failure.

Comments

An undergraduate honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in University Honors and English.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/9329

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