An analysis of the shocking novel in the penal colony by franz kafka

in the penal colony symbolism

The essential part of the setting is the apparatus used to torture the Condemned Man. Yet he is extremely well-versed in abstaining from definite commitments, a trait which explains his reaction to the officer's description of the machine: "he already felt a dawning interest in the machine.

This likelihood permits us to read the story, at least on one level, as a nightmarish vision of the annihilation camps of the Nazis. Gray writes, "this relationship doubles but also distorts the basic dialectic between the two primary characters.

As for the punishment, or torture, however, even the simplicity and precision with which the remarkable "machine" operates cannot convince us that it is justifiable.

In fact, the new regime is so open-minded that the officer takes it for granted that the visitor will be invited to participate in meetings on the future of the machine. In keeping with its unbribable, clock-like mechanism, it condemns him to death. At least, however, this story differs from "The judgment," "The Metamorphosis," and "The Trial"; here, for instance, the source of the punishment and the charges are clear. That's of course only the beginning of what the story is about. Guy Caswell n. Equally the Officer, because he believes in the system, decides on his individual standpoint, which is to be judged by the Machine itself, and because of a technical failure, it ultimately executes him. In fact, most of Kafka's work remained unpublished until he died in Have we, in our tolerant, humane, modern world lost something that older, seemingly more brutal cultures might have had? Word Count: Born in , Kafka witnessed a period of change in both the political and socio-economic structures of society, which later would influence his works. Occupying an entire valley all by itself, it is a strange symbol, carrying out detailed instructions with utmost precision. I used this document to further understanding of Existentialism and the concept of self- deception that I've used in my essay to described the Officer believes and explain it. In the Penal Colony. Designed to imprint upon a condemned man's back the sin of which he is found guilty, it executes the sentence in the smoothest way possible. One being the fact that Gregor was alienated by his work and family, who were only using him, treating him as a servant rather than part of the family or a proper human being.

It's also a story that raises a lot of the Big Questions: what is Justice, anyway? Now it is his turn to learn that, raised to the level of absoluteness, even such an ideal as justice becomes inhuman because it serves an abstract concept rather than human beings.

While characterization shows adversity in philosophies throughout the story, the setting characterizes the transition from an absolutist perspective to a more modern and moral outlook.

in the penal colony analysis

Although as a guest he is determined to remain strictly neutral, be nevertheless has to admit to himself from the beginning that "the injustice of the procedure and the inhumanity of the execution were undeniable. Yet there is also a philosophical meaning to this cult of pain.

in the penal colony pdf

In a closer interpretation, the Officer learned everything he knows with the Old Commandant and he admires the abusive judicial system, although for most of people this would be seen as an unethical judgment and punishment.

Oh, and the apparatus obviously.

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In The Penal Colony" (In Der Strafkolonie)"