In the Penal Colony Questions and Answers

In the Penal Colony

The Prisoner (Condemned Man) and Soldier are friends, brought together through a long period of solitude in the penal colony together. The Traveler, however, has no real connection to either of...

Latest answer posted May 6, 2012, 9:13 pm (UTC)

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In the Penal Colony

There are several intertwining themes that run through the Franz Kafka short story, "In the Penal Colony." Most of them concern the way in which justice is administered on the island. The prisoners...

Latest answer posted December 22, 2009, 9:38 am (UTC)

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In the Penal Colony

In “In The Penal Colony,” evil is characterized by two attitudes: a zealous faith in authority, and dependence on the machinery of bureaucracy to dispense justice. “In The Penal Colony” is the...

Latest answer posted June 12, 2012, 6:43 pm (UTC)

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In the Penal Colony

Here is the definition of torture according to the United Nations Convention Against Torture: ...any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2010, 10:26 am (UTC)

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In the Penal Colony

Start with Kafka's The Third Notebook in The Diaries of Kafka. In it he says:Man cannot live without a permanent trust in something indestructible in himself, though both the indestructible element...

Latest answer posted December 13, 2007, 5:54 am (UTC)

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In the Penal Colony

The whole apparatus is pretty grisly. The machine is designed to hold down a prisoner while needles tattoo a particular sentence, or punishment, into the skin of the condemned. I believe that for...

Latest answer posted May 4, 2007, 5:57 am (UTC)

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In the Penal Colony

The evil that is presented in each story is an impersonal evil. The officer in Kafka's story, "In the Penal Colony", has nothing personal against the condemned man. Instead, his passion and his...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2013, 5:58 pm (UTC)

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In the Penal Colony

The plot of the story is fairly straight-forward. What is potentially confusing about the narrative is its resistance to predictability. From beginning to end, the story seems to move in ways that...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2013, 2:02 pm (UTC)

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In the Penal Colony

A criticism of colonialism that one can identify in Franz Kafka’s short story “In the Penal Colony” relates to dehumanization. Think about the names of the characters—none of them have actual...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2021, 4:12 pm (UTC)

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In the Penal Colony

In Althusser's thought, Repressive State Apparatuses (RSAs) refer to state institutions that repress the working class through use of force. These institutions (the military, the courts, the...

Latest answer posted June 13, 2020, 1:49 pm (UTC)

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In the Penal Colony

Neither at the beginning of the story nor at the end does the Traveler take a moral stand concerning the inhumanity of the machine. He is an observer. At one moment he intervenes, but not in an...

Latest answer posted November 4, 2007, 7:07 am (UTC)

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In the Penal Colony

The explorer is a man of restraint and of moral compunction. He is rather aghast at discovering the process of "justice" on the penal colony. Hearing that the man to be put to death has not only...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2013, 2:10 pm (UTC)

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In the Penal Colony

We can usefully relate this quote to the theme of justice and injustice, which is of course extremely prevalent in this story. The new Commandant is clearly trying to produce change through a...

Latest answer posted December 23, 2011, 5:01 am (UTC)

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