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Franz Kafka was the only boy in the family. He had three younger sisters, and his other two brothers died at birth.

His father had high expectations for his only son. Herrmann Kafka, Kafka's father, had worked hard his whole life. He ran away from his family's farm to start his own business. Franz, however, could not live up to his father's expectations, which were mostly athletics. Franz was not a good athlete, and hated to swim. Herrmann, seeing his son as a disgrace, was angry with him most of the time. For his whole life Kafka struggled to hold his father in a good light.

Franz found comfort in literature. This made his parents more disappointed in him because they thought reading and writing were unimportant. Franz, however, continued to read and write. Later in life Kafka wrote a novel long letter to his father about their poor relationship. His father never got to read it.

Franz Kafka wanted to be a full time author. However, he could not get himself to submit his works. This is why most of his writings were published after his death.

He got a job at an insurance company for injured workers. He did not get out as early as he would have liked but it was the only thing he had.

When he was bored at work he doodled. His doodles often were of people in distress or in misery.

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Kafka was always looking for love. Unfortunately he could not get himself to devote the time and energy into starting a family. He had proposed to the same woman twice, but called the marriage off before the day. His love life was the battle between writing and a family. He could not get the two ends to meet. Kafka never got married.

Another problem for Franz was the world around him. Franz got tuberculosis at 34 and fought with it for the rest of his life. Franz also disagreed with many of society's beliefs.

All these problems worked their way into his life, and then Kafka placed them on paper. Most of his works include people who have problems with their family, job, and love life.

Light Up The World

The problems Kakfa faced shine back on the world and his writings change our view on society. This is why he is recognized as one of the best twentieth century authors, and is honored in the word "Kafkaesque." Kafkaesque relates to Kafka's works. It is used to describe things eerie, strange, or like the twilight zone.