An analysis of the penal colony by franz kafka

The fundamental question is raised and remains unanswered: He keeps an ambivalent and ironical distance from the New Commandant and his reign. It performs like the hand of some inexorable power, whose primitive nature is reflected in the stark landscape surrounding it and contrasted with civilization.

In this case, evidence has accumulated that he who represents the "enlightened" ideals of tolerance and liberalism is not automatically superior to the Old Commandant and his admittedly outmoded and cruel An analysis of the penal colony by franz kafka.

Looking at the directions for the Designer, shown to him by the officer, the explorer cannot say much except that "all he could see was a labyrinth of lines crossing and recrossing each other, which covered the paper so thickly that it was difficult to discern the blank spaces between them.

In keeping with its unbribable, clock-like mechanism, it condemns him An analysis of the penal colony by franz kafka death.

But while the machine may enable the condemned person to "see" after the sixth hour, it does not offer him a chance to repent and to survive. The Soldier and the Condemned who is unaware that he has been sentenced to die placidly watch from nearby.

It is difficult to imagine a more appropriate expression of the dehumanizing horror of World War I at whose outbreak the story was written than this symbol of self-destructive human ingenuity.

The officer finds this form of punishment exquisite. 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.

In fact, the Officer carries its blueprints with him and is the only person who can properly decipher them; no one else is allowed to handle these documents. The primitive order which the machine represents points to the dawn of civilization, which appears as a kind of Golden Age to the officer; he longs passionately for the restoration of a world dominated by a superhuman power.

The story is religious only in the sense that the archaic system of the Old Commandant still prevails, though hardened into purely mechanical routine. In doing so, he talks himself into a frenzy, eventually assuming that the visitor has always approved of the old system anyway and only needs to choose the most appropriate language before the assembled administrators to tip the balance toward a revival of the old system.

Naturally, this strikes the officer as a further threat on the part of the New Commandant against traditional order. He emphasizes that all this "was quite simple," proving that the machine and he belong to one and the same system, namely that of the Old Commandant, whose declared maxim was that "guilt is never to be doubted.

As the Explorer prepares to leave by boat, he repels the efforts of the Soldier and Condemned to come aboard. With this, the Officer frees the Condemned and sets up the machine for himself, with the words "Be Just" to be written on him.

What Kafka is saying is that a certain measure of decadence seems to be inevitably a part of civilization and that the "modern" ideals of rationality and liberalism tend to give way too easily to considerations of utility and to the whims of the people.

The outward perfection of the machine does not detract from its primitivism but heightens it through contrast, adding to it the dimension of the brutality of modern technology. To be sure, the explorer is interested in seeing the old system crumble.

He who has helped construct the monster talks about its efficiency and intricacies with passion, yet it becomes clear that even this officer is the servant of his machine. The new Commandant does not like the "procedure," and is hoping the explorer will disapprove of it, too.

From all evidence compiled over two thousand years, man, as a "political animal," has had to struggle to walk the thin tightrope between totalitarianism and the sometimes chaos which we have come to call democracy.

Instead, he proclaims that he can "neither help nor hinder" the officer because "interference is always touchy. Having described the apparatus to the explorer, the officer has the condemned man put in the machine. The condemned man and the soldier try to follow him, but he keeps them from jumping into his boat.

The nature of this order is so foreign to any conventional logic, including that of the New Commandant, that it must be assumed to serve a world beyond ours."In the Penal Colony" ("In der Strafkolonie") (also translated as "In the Penal Settlement") is a short story by Franz Kafka written in German in Octoberrevised in Novemberand first published in October In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka.

Home / Literature / In the Penal Colony / Analysis ; In the Penal Colony Analysis Literary Devices in In the Penal Colony. Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory.

A lot of readers are tempted to look at the penal colony itself as an allegory for something. What's an allegory? Free summary and analysis of the events in Franz Kafka's In the Penal Colony that won't make you snore.

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The Metamorphosis and Other Stories

The Metamorphosis and Other Stories Franz Kafka. SHARE! Home; Literature Notes; Summary and Analysis In The Penal Colony" (In Der Strafkolonie)" Schopenhauer suggested that it might be helpful to look at the world as a penal colony, and Dostoevsky, whom Kafka re-read insupplied Kafka with many punishment fantasies.

In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka () Translation by Ian Johnston of Malaspina University-College, Nanaimo, BC execution was not very high even in the penal colony itself.

In the Penal Colony

At least, here in the small, deep, sandy valley, closed in on all sides by barren slopes, apart from the Officer and. Dive deep into Franz Kafka's In the Penal Colony with extended analysis, commentary, and discussion.

An analysis of the penal colony by franz kafka
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