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What is the main theme of "The Castle" by Kafka?I know this book deals with...

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barbwilliston | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 11, 2009 at 12:03 PM via web

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What is the main theme of "The Castle" by Kafka?

I know this book deals with alienation, bureaucracy, power abuse, and going against the system. I also know it's satirical and (possibly) existential. What I don't know is what would be most considered the main theme, or how to prove it using quotes from only pages 20, 60, and 100.

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morrol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted January 12, 2009 at 2:13 AM (Answer #1)

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Works by Kafka can always be interpreted in a number of ways. One way to interpret "The Castle" is to see it as a representation of social norms. The protagonist, Joseph K. attempts to be a part of those social norms. The main theme of the story is mankind's constant struggle to belong somewhere. In this particular instance, Joseph K is not accepted or rejected. He exists in a state of limbo, a kind of in between where his belonging is always pending. This idea is closely tied with the idea of "liminality", where an individual's identity is neither fully one nor fully the other, but an empty in between state.

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