Analysis Of Franz Kafka 's ' The Penal Colony ' Essay

Analysis Of Franz Kafka 's ' The Penal Colony ' Essay

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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. In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka approaches this issues through an explorer who is in a foreign colony, observing an unfamiliar justice system. The entire system is based around a machine, called the apparatus, which always declare the accused as guilty, inscribes the punishment of the accused onto their body, and then slowly kills them. The worst part of all is that this machine is not viewed as inhumane because it allows the person to have a religious epiphany and become a better person. Although Kafka’s short story was written in 1914, it maintained its relevance because much of the injustice and reasoning is very similar to how African Americans were treated by white supremacists in the 19th century through lynching. The reader would hope that Kafka’s short story was online fiction, but when comparing In the Penal Colony to the real life happenings during America’s Reconstruction, one cannot deny the similarities. The short story is even related to present day issues, which are happening nearly 100 years later. The adaptability of a short story written many years before the historical event even took place is accredited to Kafka’s ability to attack popular issues through a specific storyline.
When the explorer arrives at the new colony, in In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka, he meets the officer, who is in in charge of the apparatus. The officer demands that any of the primitive people of the land who are accused of an act, without the right to trial, or even any opportunity to not be guilty, are placed in t...

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...ristics and people involved, and major themes of In the Penal Colony as well as the situations that have occurred in real life, one can see how Kafka’s work is extremely adaptable. Kafka is able to confront the issue unjust systems through a short story that is specific, while creating a broad message for the story to emit. The action of the white supremacists are extremely similar to the storyline of In the Penal Colony to the point where there is correlation between the real life people and the fictional characters. This is rather amazing considering that the short story was written prior to the historical event. On an even more general scale the reader is able to see how the themes of the book are still of major importance today. Kafka’s writing ability is what allows the reader to become so knowledgeable on general issues and relate them to real life situations.

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