"How Can One Take Delight in the World Unless One Flees to It for Refuge?": The Fear of Freedom in Erich Fromm and Franz Kafka [unknown]

Aoileann Ní Éigeartaigh
Erich Fromm points to a tendency whereby the numerous freedoms gained by the citizens of modern democracies have been accompanied by widespread feelings of loneliness and disconnection. The loosening of traditional social structures leads some individuals to seek out restrictions, for example in order to counteract the feelings of being alone. This essay uses Fromm's thesis as a lens through which to examine two of Franz Kafka's novels in which the protagonists exemplify the "fear of freedom"
more » ... oposed by Fromm. Society in these novels is perceived as a prison cell in which one must comply with social regulations, but also a fortress to which one can retreat from the chaos of the outside world, albeit at the cost of one's psychological health.
doi:10.19205/53.19.1 fatcat:od3nwqsmqbhztew5w6dfb764tm