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In the Penal Colony Essay | Critical Essay #3

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Critical Essay #3

In the following excerpt, Fickert discusses the protagonist's escape at the end of Kafka's "In the Penal Colony," and contends that his escape "reveals his inability to deal with the paradoxes of truth; but more importantly, the traveler flees ... with the instinct of self-preservation."

At the end of Franz Kafka's story "In the Penal Colony" the protagonist, variously called traveler, explorer, scientist, is in full flight "When they [the soldier and the condemned man] arrived down below, the traveler was already in the boat, and the boatman was casting off from shore. They could still have leapt in the boat, but the traveler picked up a heavy, knotted rope from the bottom of the boat, threatened them with it and thus kept them from jumping." Explanations of the traveler's escape and indeed of his entire role have not been completely satisfying; e g., Satish Kumar identifies the traveler...

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This section contains 846 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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