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In the Penal Colony Summary
Franz Kafka

Everything you need to understand or teach In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka.

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In the Penal Colony Summary

Introduction

Franz Kafka wrote the novella-length story "In the Penal Colony" while he was writing his novel The Tnalvn. 1914, and it was first published in 1919. The story of an explorer's tour of an island known for its unusual capital punishment machine, "In the Penal Colony" took just two weeks to complete, although Kafka was dissatisfied with the ending and rewrote it several times in later years. Since the story's publication in English translation in 1948, it has come to be seen, along with The Metamorphosis, as one of Kafka's most significant shorter works. Critical responses to the story have largely been concerned with interpreting its allegorical aspects, and with placing such interpretations in the context of Kafka's other writings and of certain biographical issues, such as his relationship with his father. There has been no agreement on the allegory it presents, and recent criticism has come to accept this fact. There...

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In the Penal Colony Study Guide

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