“What could one write to such a man, who had obviously run off the rails, a man one could be sorry for but could not help. Should one advise him to come home, to transplant himself and take up his old friendships again- there was nothing to hinder him- and in general to rely on the help of friends? But that was as good as telling him, and the more kindly the more offensively, that all his efforts hitherto had miscarried, that he should finally give up, come back home, and be gaped at by everyone as a returned prodigal, that only his friends knew what was what and that he himself was just a big child who should do what his successful and home-keeping friends prescribed” (Kafka 77-78).
Bendemann believes that his friend is struggling in Russia, solely because he has started a new life far away from his original home. Perhaps, he believes that this man has no friends there because of his stubborn advice to rekindle his friendship from his true home. Additionally, George states that if his friend returns, he will be “gaped at by everyone as a returned prodigal,” suggesting that it would not be a positive experience for his friend upon his return. Unfortunately, readers realize that these are only excuses for Bendemann’s lack of change in his life. He does not have the maturity that is necessary to separate himself from his childhood home or from his father. He refuses to accept the happiness that his friend mostly likely achieved by removing himself from the childish ways of home. Bendemann’s incomplete journey, or lack thereof, highlights the usage of the modern condition found in Franz Kafka’s work.
Kafka, Franz. “The Judgement.” The Sons. N.p.: Schoken, 1989. 77-88. Print.