The Power Of Bureaucracy In In The Penal Colony By Kafka

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“In the Penal Colony” by Kafka, demonstrates the power of bureaucracy and how it attacks a person’s quality of life and diminishes their level of humanity. The officer in the story, he who is in charge of executing prisoners with an apparatus, shows his sentiment towards it but is then met with the traveler who condemns it. The officer does not realize the lack of morality in his actions because he is a tyrant. Accordingly, the position of the officer results in tyranny as he fully internalizes the system that was instated by the old commandant which is what eventually kills him. This can be seen through the officer’s reasoning when he makes his decisions and the traveler’s disapproval of the apparatus. Throughout the story, the officer appears as a man with values and principles, yet acts with total ignorance of either compassion or sympathy because of the power he holds with the apparatus. The officer does not feel responsible for his immorality and in fact, does not see himself as being immoral. He also does not see the point in telling a prisoner the reason why he is being executed. He proudly informs the traveler: “the principle on which I base my decisions is: guilt is always beyond doubt” (Kafka 199). This idea suggests that all are to assume execution and that actual facts do not matter. It also concerns the desire to inflict pain and agony even at the expense of one’s self. He continues to describe the “beauty” of the apparatus to the traveler and is in love with
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