Compare & Contrast In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka

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Kafka was a German-speaking Jew. For centuries, Jews had lived in a ghettoized area of Prague. As a result, the tight-knit community gave rise to its own legends, the most famous being that of the Golem, a man made of clay who comes to life to destroy the enemies of the city's Jewish citizens. Living in Prague, Kafka thus felt doubly different from the Czech-speaking, non-Jewish population. His diaries and letters reveal a personality that was deeply neurotic and self-analytical. His family and personal relationships were difficult. Internalizing much of his surroundings, Kafka began to write his own tales of horror in which the monsters were modernity, bureaucracy, and the alienation caused by an industrial, mechanized age. Martin Seymour-Smith wrote, "Kafka was above all a realist: the most precise realist of his century. Of course he is a symbolist. But those who cannot...

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This section contains 448 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the In the Penal Colony Study Guide
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In the Penal Colony from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.