Franz Kafka's The Castle

4517 Words19 Pages
”Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” - Ernest Hemingway Introduction Franz Kafka was highly famous for burning majority of his works without pub- lishing them and got very scant public appreciation for his works published during the time he was alive. The Castle was originally published in German two years after Kafka’s death and subsequently translated over the years. The Castle relies on the fact that beyond the absurd world, the things that repel or disturb us also make useful sense and that the tragedy or the absurdity arises due to failure of logical and natural order. The protagonist of the novel, K. is a two dimensional man caught in the web…show more content…
for his work in the village and also to look after his various needs. They act like fools all the time, interrupting K. in all his affairs, not following his orders, spying on him permanently. They are a constant source of frustration for K. They are both pretty adamant, identical looking (almost), stupid, lazy, insensitive and disrespectful to K. in many ways. K. finds them useless and abominable. “He would have liked to speak to Frieda in private about the assistants. She laughed and joked with them now and then, but their mere intrusive presence troubled him. Not that they were demanding; they had settled down on the floor in a corner of the room, lying on two old skirts; their aim, as they often assured Frieda, was to avoid disturbing their boss the land surveyor, and to take up as little room as possible” • Klamm Klamm is the elusive castle official who is K.’s immediate superior au- thority at the castle. K. tries all through his stay in the village to get a meeting arrangement with him. Klamm is stout, fat with a paunch, a middle-aged man behind a desk, a stereotypical government employee. Klamm is the symbolism of authority in this novel. Frieda is his mistress whom K. steals away from him. • Olga and Amalia Olga and Amalia are the sisters of Barnabas. Olga helps K. meet Frieda at the Inn and also tells him about the ordeals her family is facing. She too is strong like her brother,…show more content…
Various theological interpretations have been done and are available but to me, this book was always about that little tinker of hope which keeps shimmering through dark paths of hopelessness. It can be seen as the struggle of a man to achieve salvation, freedom from the worldly vortex he is struck in. The name of the messenger as Barnabas, the chapter named ’Arrival’ or the public shaming of Amalia and her fam- ily all point towards religious attachments in the text. While reading the story, it feels like the roots lie deep within ourselves also, for we in society as a whole are quite similar in nature to the village, governed by the un- questionable belief of god and his miracles and any non-compliant person is ridiculed and mistreated. The novel finds utility in the futile attempts of K. to reach the Castle and we are never really sure what K. wants after reaching the Castle or was he even seriously a land surveyor at all. The absurdity in K.’s existence is very apparent and true, for all the substance and simultaneous action that he does, there is a void between his efforts and the result that he wants to achieve. Kafka wants his character to take the existential leap of faith, to embrace his struggles with open arms and live with
Open Document