Date of Award

1-1-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English and University Honors

Department

English

First Advisor

Jennifer Ruth

Subjects

Political science -- Philosophy, 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.

Persistent Identifier

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

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