Anti Semitic Culture And Sentiments Before, During, And After World War I

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In each of Kafka’s writings, there are prominent metaphors relating to anti-Semitic culture and sentiments before, during, and after World War I. Through absurd and irrational predicaments, the characters in Kafka’s stories illustrate the of Jewish people as “alien” and their various identity crises. In the beginning of the 20th century, a negative stigma of the Jewish population multiplied. They were seen as “alien” or inferior to the rest of the human race due to a perceived difference in physical and mental attributions. Also, there were many stereotypes surrounding Jewish people, like big noses or being stingy. In Kafka’s A Report to an Academy, he confronts the notion of Jewish people seen as a lesser race through Social Darwinism – the idea that some classes of human beings were higher than others. By utilizing an ape as the man character, he recreates the idea of man’s evolution, going back to a more “primitive” time. The man recounts his memories of being an ape and the journey to becoming a human. However, this could be the perspective in the eyes of a Jewish person living in a society in which they are suppressed and excluded like the ape, Red Peter, held captive in his crate. Seamlessly, Kafka expresses his disdain for the treatment of Jews through such passages as “[I] …felt like being in the dark all the time” (Academy 83). This exemplifies the Jewish population’s abhorrent rejection from society in the government, certain workplaces, education, etc. They felt like outcasts, forgotten and left in the “dark” to fend for themselves. Consequently, there was no way out for Red Peter but to become human. In his attempts to become a human being and be accepted with his shipmates (his society), he imitated the fellow peop... ... middle of paper ... the unintelligible blueprints of the machine which could be seen as the laws, like the Biblical ten commandments (Colony 70). Therefore, Kafka is critiquing the “organization” of religion and the laws associated with it. In the end, the machine breaks and the “promised redemption” can never be sought for the officer (Colony 74). Thus, for Kafka, taking full-fledged heed in your own religion can result in no promise in the afterlife – Kafka’s skepticism on religion. In Kafka’s writings, he uses many subtle metaphors to reflect his view on the world and the treatment of the Jewish population. He shows his resentment toward the idea of the Jewish people as an inferior class and with “animal-like” behaviors. Also, Kafka shows his disdain of organized religion and the Jewish peoples’ identity crisis that caused many to immigrate to different locations around the world.

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