Existentialism In The Castle By Franz Kafka

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Franz Kafka was a 20th century author whose writing often seemed to tackle a variety of existentialist themes such as alienation, psychological duress, and bureaucratic conflicts. It often includes an introspective character placed in a mildly surrealist setting who undergoes certain experiences that showcase his character, his doubts, and his beliefs. Some of Kafka’s writing, especially in “The Castle” seems to be politically charged with ironic undertones, as if Kafka is making a mockery of a an amalgam of political systems by creating situations reminiscent of communist or feudal systems most prevalent in Eastern Europe. The characters in the book seem to possess a community mentality, bigoted beliefs, and they’re ignorant about decisions made by authorities, maintaining a passive attitude throughout the book. They also display a considerable amount of prejudice and xenophobia, most noticeable when the protagonist first enters the village, but is prevalent throughout his stay there. The first introduction to the oppressive nature of the governing system occurs on the first few pages when K is informed “The village belongs to the castle, so anyone who stays or spends the night here is, so to speak, staying or spending the night at the castle. And no one is allowed to do that without a permit from the court.” (Kafka 2009, 5) Clearly, the villagers have been conditioned to think that the Castle and its inhabitants are all-powerful and their permission is required for all
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