Kafka -Before the Law

Length: 361 words

Kafka’s writing, although complex, leaves a lot to be interpreted, depending on the reader, mindset and age of the person, the story feels like it can take its own life and morph into the frame of mind of the reader. Although short and filled with understandable verbiage, the writing seems deep and profound. Kafka’s writing also feels dark and riddled with unanswerable questions. Throughout this review I will attempt to decipher the meaning of “Before the Law”. Let us begin with the notion of tying this story somehow to his father. As depicted in his previous writings as well as his biography “Kafka’s relationship to his father dominated all discussions of both his life and work”, it can only give me the impression his fathers’ presence is in fact somewhere in the story. I would be so bold to say the gatekeeper is his father. Although there were other gatekeepers, this specific gatekeeper and this specific entrance to the law “was assigned only to you”. As we cannot choose our parents I am given the impression that this was not a choice for him to arrive to this specific gate, however predetermined. Moreover, he was obedient and although tempted to break

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the law/rules, and given the opportunity to go passed the gate despite the prohibition of the gatekeeper, he did not. This provokes similarity to a son not going against the prohibitions of his father. Moreover the man does not press the gatekeeper or ask for his reasoning as to why he isn’t allowed into the law. As the mindset of that time was to never question what your elders tell you. He tried to understand why he wasn’t allowed into the law or how he can get in, but didn’t ask the simple question. This all leads me to believe the gatekeeper is depicting Kafka’s father.
Now let us interpret the law itself. It seems the law is there only to protect and serve those of power. The law is the master and the gatekeeper is the servant. However the gatekeeper accepts bribes, is this not a violation of the law. He…

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