The loss of humanity and understanding in kafkas penal colony essay

At least Steinberg has the guts to at leastimplythat he may be misreading it.

The loss of humanity and understanding in kafkas penal colony essay

Also both men are guilty: His situation of intensifying anxiety, already an unalterable fact at his awakening, corresponds to Georg's after his sentence. More so than Georg, however, who comes to accept his judgment, out of proportion though it may be, Gregor is a puzzled victim brought before the Absolute — here in the form of the chief clerk — which forever recedes into the background.

This element of receding, an important theme in Kafka's works, intensifies the gap between the hero and the unknown source of his condemnation. Thus the reader finds himself confronted with Gregor's horrible fate and is left in doubt about the source of Gregor's doom and the existence of enough personal guilt to warrant such a harsh verdict.

The selection of an ordinary individual as victim heightens the impact of the absurd. Gregor is not an enchanted prince in a fairy tale, yearning for deliverance from his animal state; instead, he is a rather average salesman who awakens and finds himself transformed into an insect.

In a sense, Gregor is the archetype of many of Kafka's male characters: For example, he uses his whole body to anxiously guard the magazine clipping of a lady in a fur cape; this is a good illustration of his pitiful preoccupation with sex.

Though it would be unfair to blame him for procrastinating, for not getting out of bed on the first morning of his metamorphosis, we have every reason to assume that he has procrastinated long before this — especially in regard to a decision about his unbearable situation at work.

Gregor has also put off sending his sister to the conservatory, although he promised to do so. He craves love and understanding, but his prolonged inactivity gradually leads him to feel ever more indifferent about everything.

It is through all his failures to act, then, rather than from specific irresponsible actions he commits, that Gregor is guilty.

The price his guilt exacts is that of agonizing loneliness.

Franz Kafka

Plays on words and obvious similarities of names point to the story's highly autobiographical character. The arrangement of the vowels in Samsa is the same as in Kafka.

More significantly yet, samsja means "being alone" in Czech. In this connection, it is noteworthy that in "Wedding Preparations in the Country," an earlier use of the metamorphosis motif, the hero's name is Raban.

The same arrangement of the vowel a prevails, and there is also another play on words: Rabe is German for raven, the Czech word for which is kavka; the raven, by the way, was the business emblem of Kafka's father. It is easy to view Gregor as an autobiographical study of Kafka himself.

Gregor's father, his mother, and his sister also have their parallels with Kafka's family. Gregor feels that he has to appease his father, who "approaches with a grim face" toward him, and it is his father's bombardment with apples that causes his death.

The two women, on the other hand, have the best of intentions — his mother pleading for her son's life, believing that Gregor's state is only some sort of temporary sickness; she even wants to leave the furniture in his room the way it is "so that when he comes back to us he will find everything as it was and will be able to forget what has happened all the more easily.

These people simply do not understand, and the reason they do not understand is that they are habitually too "preoccupied with their immediate troubles. Shortly after completing "The Metamorphosis," Kafka wrote in his diary: Gregor never identifies himself with an insect.

It is important to realize, therefore, that Gregor's metamorphosis actually takes place in his "uneasy dreams," which is something altogether different than saying it is the result of the lingering impact of these dreams. An interpretation often advanced categorizes Gregor's metamorphosis as an attempt at escaping his deep-seated conflict between his true self and the untenable situation at the company.

He begs the chief clerk for precisely that situation which has caused him to be so unhappy; he implores him to help him maintain his position and, while doing so, completely forgets that he is a grotesquerie standing in front of the chief clerk. What bothers Gregor most about his situation at the company is that there is no human dimension in what he is doing: As will be shown later, he would have had every reason to do so.

Kafka and Existentialism

As it turns out, he was, and still is, too weak. Even now in his helpless condition, he continues to think of his life as a salesman in "normal" terms; he plans the day ahead as if he could start it like every other day, and he is upset only because of his clumsiness.

Although one might expect such a horrible fate to cause a maximum of intellectual and emotional disturbance in a human being — and Gregor remains one inwardly until his death — he stays surprisingly calm.

His father shows the same incongruous behavior when confronted with Gregor's fate; he acts as if this fate were something to be expected from his son.

The loss of humanity and understanding in kafkas penal colony essay

The maid treats him like a curious pet, and the three lodgers are amused, rather than appalled, by the sight of the insect. The reason for the astounding behavior of all these people is found in their incapacity to comprehend disaster.

This incapacity, in turn, is a concomitant symptom of their limitless indifference toward everything happening to Gregor. Because they have maintained a higher degree of sensitivity, the women in Gregor's family respond differently at first, Gregor's mother even resorting to a fainting spell to escape having to identify the insect with her son.

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Gregor's unbelievably stayed reaction to his horrible fate shows Kafka, the master painter of the grotesque, at his best.Kafka’s The Trial delves into the life of Josef K., a bank worker who gets himself tied up in an unknown trial, against an indefinable and ultimately unaccountable legal system.

While the piece is a work of fiction it parallels many of the legal problems in existence during the period in which. Analysis Of Franz Kafka 's ' The Penal Colony ' - There will always be issues when dissecting a person’s belief system in contrast to another person’s belief system.

Much of this is caused by everyone involved always feeling as if their belief system is the right one. The light of "In the Penal Colony" is precisely of this nature, yet it dissolves not the world but the image of revelation.

Kafka's story takes us to the other side of the door. Kafka's stories suggest meanings which are accessible only after several readings.

If their endings, or lack of endings, seem to make sense at all, they will not do so immediately and not in .

From Marx to Myth: The Structure and Function of Self-Alienation in Kafka's Metamorphosis usage come alive and are enacted in the scenes he presents.

The punishing machine devised by the Old Commander in The Penal Colony, for instance, engraves the law that from his humanity or "human species being," i.e., from the individual's. This is an essay I wrote my first semester in college for an expository writing class, which I have not edited since, making this the original submittFranz Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony” shows that somebody, readers, critics, or Kafka himself, is confused.

The readers (and especially those the essay .

Reconciling Kafka's "In the Penal Colony" with Christianity, essay by kdhodges