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How did you interpret In The Penal Colony? I am perplexed >tfw

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How did you interpret In The Penal Colony? I am perplexed

>tfw dumb
I have not gone to the effort of trying to reconcile my interpretation with academia but here goes

I got a very strong impression that the officer could be looked at as a christ like figure, obviously implying that the machine represents the crucifix. Building from this I reasoned that the text also may have been making a humorous commentary on the apparently incongruous nature of Yahweh in shifting from the old testament to the new testament and his almost bipolar shift in disposition. This is summarized by the office of Commandant. The old commandant and the new commandant are an exaggeration of the two gods; with the old commandant being a martinet and the new commandant going so far as to coddle the condemned of the penal colony, stuffing them with candy. It is almost as if the first commandant is defined by his chastisement of humanity and his reverence for ceremony and the second commandant is not only forgiving of hedonistic excess but actively encourages it. Both characterizations of God are probably going to offend but as I say, these are probably intended as humorous exaggerations. And in exaggerating the two Gods I think Kafka makes a very apposite remark on the nature of the officer. Somehow he has to redeem humanity in the name of the old god, a wanton disciplinarian. This situation as you might imagine, naturally would create some cognitive dissonance in someone charged with such a destiny. This is why he comes across as such an incongruous character himself, apologizing for minor offences while committing a monstrous ritual on a regular basis. He is not a bad natured guy but he is also not inclined to apostasy and therefore upholds the brutal system, as the patriarchal figure of the old commandant can do no wrong. He justifies the machine's efficacy in "enlightening" the condemned and treats this enlightenment as something to be envied.
That shit is fire
a lot of very small interesting things, I don't think there is a big overall theme.

As >>7235481 says, there is the religious topic, which is quite obvious with the religious epiphany that the victims of the machine experience.

The plans of the machine and the instructions of the old Commandant could refer to the Bible (similar to this >>7235481 interpretation), but also just to the power of words, that is also emphasized by the method of killing (writing the sentence on the victim). In that way you can see (as often in Kafka's work) a biographical influence, as he stated several times that he suffered a lot when writing because he felt that his writings were never as good as he wanted them to be and as he imagined them to be (a topic that is discussed in The Hunger Artist as well).

I don't remember the story too well though, else I could write more. The most interesting character for me has always been the guy who was sentenced to death and his strange behaviour towards the end of the story.
Its funny you should bring this up. I regard this as Kafka's best work and a few weeks ago it became the subject of some controversy in my life. I was in a boring nutrition course in CC and every week we were expected to hand in a 4 page report of what we ate. This seemed excessive to begin with and worse yet is that I didn't have much of an appetite. Eventually I started using more and more absurd means of filling in the page. I finally thought this had culminated with a rather prolix gastronomic eclogue festooned with excessively ostentatious and verbose lexicon with the express intent of merely filling in the pages. However this got a decent grade, not the best but passable considering the effort that would otherwise be involved. I felt like the gates had been opened wide and I followed this up with a purple-prose report, wherein I related feelings of malaise and joy after eating various foods. This recieved an exceptional grade all things considered and I had the impression that maybe the instructor was overjoyed to have something entertaining to read admidst the slew of dull meal reports. So at last I actually took a portion of the text of this story. I swapped the characters for myself, my mother and my half-brother. Lastly, the condemned man was replaced by a pizza pop. The machine became a microwave and the parts the "rotary plate" (bed), the "particle blaster"(desinger) and the "door" (harrow). You can imagine where this goes.

Well what fell out from this behavior is that I was charged by the board of niggers with plagiarism and failed the entire class. So the moral of the story is do not try to be creative in college.
Finishing up A Burrow, planning on jumping on A Penal Colony next will report back.
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the curtains were blue

For me it's a representation of how things are done in the world, not because they should be, but because they have been done this way before so why change it.
I interpreted it with the hypothesis
that "penal" was as "that which relates to penis"
5 star post. Excellent work.
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We try to explain our work and joined together, but do not go here
I like that it is Christ on the cross, as the name indicates a very strong business jets may seem, you have to worry about that. Therefore, I have a new law, the UN Charter and the blown bipolar disorder, we know the nature of the nature of God can calm down and, apparently, with humor. This is the administrative offices. Administrative bodies, excessive new commander, Martin, a former commander of one of the new commander does not like candy, spoiled captive. Almost since the first commander of hope, green, is determined by the second commander of hedonism, but not actively encouraged. So, God, yes, but also, perhaps, as a humorous exaggeration, the opening goal, but it did not fall, we say. So, I think, on the basis of two gods, as the official statement. .mirishirA: to protect the environment, as the first name of their God. Of course, this is such a defense, and everyone is able to create a gap imagination. Often on the basis of verification, crime and suicide risk, but not because of the interest. Do not deal with the negative, so that's not a bad person, but it is far from the orbit of religion, because the number of elderly, -emezu maintenance system. Anyone who is considered to be the envy of the brain becomes "vermifl" condemned to consider the validity of the car.
What curtains?
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Hey guys, I've been dreaming about Kafka lately, and I dreamt about him most recently last night.

Here's what happened:

I'm in college, and I learn that one of my professors, a sardonic veteran academic who studied under Harold Bloom and knew Kafka [not true, as far as I know, specially since Kafka is dead]. Somehow or other, I convince him to let me meet him. Then suddenly we're waiting for him in my old middle school's library. We're eating lunch, having sandwiches, me and the professor, and we're waiting for Kafka and his wife to show up.

My professor gives me a few ground rules. Don't draw attention to the fact that he's Kafka. Don't ask him about waking up as a big. Don't even mention the titles of his books. I say, that's fine, having a sandwich with the guy is good enough for me, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I thank him again for doing me this favor.

Suddenly a man sits down next to me at our round wooden table and of course it's Kafka and he says hey to my professor and they shake hands and then his wife comes into view across the table and my professor stands up and they stare coldly at each other and mention how it's been a while and so on. Nobody's paying attention to me.

Then my professor introduces me and says Hey, this is Anon, a student of mine. Kafka puts out his hand and says, "Hey there—Franz" and I put my hand in his and say, "Hey—This is so Kafkaesque." And for a second I don't even realize I've said this, but I notice the mood's turned awkward. Then I say, "Sorry, I just realized that instead of my name I said Kaf—you know. Sorry, my name's Anon, I don't know why I said that. Now this is simultaneously the best and worst moment of my life." They all laugh at that.
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