In the Penal Colony Historical Context

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The psychological discord evident in Kafka's writing was influenced in part by the chaos in Europe prior to World War I. Nowhere were the period's social, religious, and nationalistic conflicts greater than in his birthplace, Prague. By 1914 the Austro-Hungarian empire was coming to an end and World War I engulfed all of Europe. The war, which had been brewing for years, began when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, members of the ruling Habsburg family of the Austro-Hungarian empire, were killed by a Serbian assassin protesting the Austro-Hungarian empire's claim over his country. The Austro-Hungarians declared war on Bosnia after they failed to comply with their demands for an investigation into the murders. This war's brutality was unlike anything the world had ever seen, and millions of casualties were caused by technical advances such as poison gas, guns mounted on airplanes...

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This section contains 279 words
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Short Stories for Students
In the Penal Colony from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.