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In the Penal Colony Critical Essay

This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of In the Penal Colony.
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Critical Overview

Although Kafka wrote "In the Penal Colony" in 1914, and it was published in German in 1919, there was no English translation until 1948. Accordingly, little criticism in English appeared before the 1950s. Austin Warren, in "An Exegetical Note on 'In the Penal Colony'," published in the Southern Review was one of the first critics to identify the allegory in the story as dealing with religion in the modern world. He theorized that the penal colony represents the whole earth where all people await judgement. In times past there was a systematic theology which meant that everyone knew his place. There was no question or argument about the fact that men and women were sinners and in due course they would be judged. The machine in the story stands for the religious framework that once held sway. The official is still faithful to this system, and he represents an orthodox theologian...

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This section contains 755 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our In the Penal Colony Study Guide
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In the Penal Colony from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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