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Kafka and the Dramatisation of the Guilty.

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Introduction

Kafka and the Dramatisation of the Guilty. Kafka... draws the reader into the dramatization of the (guilty) failure to arrive, to communicate, to understand. And it is this movement which he describes again and again, not only on the level of rational discourse, but on a great many levels. -Heller Heller's statement is at best a rather enigmatic one: riddled with unanswered questions and uncertainties. The reader of Heller's statement would first ask himself how Kafka... draws the reader into the dramatization, then would question the failure to arrive, to communicate, to understand: arrive, communicate, understand what? Thirdly, one asks oneself what is the movement he describes again and again: drawing the reader into the dramatization or the failure to arrive, communicate, understand. And lastly, one wonders what the "many levels" are that Kafka uses to communicate the rather ambiguous "movement". The failure to arrive is a recurrent theme throughout the novel. Probably the best example of it is the failure to arrive at a judgement. K is on trial for the entirety of the novel, and never is judgement passed on him. ...read more.

Middle

The language used has no substance and therefore it is completely detached from reality: the syntax is correct but it makes no sense at all. Failure to understand also plays an extremely important r´┐Żle in the novel. It can be seen to follow on directly from the failure to communicate: if one person cannot communicate, the other cannot understand. Perhaps the most important instance of failure to understand is K's failure to understand the court system. He never seems to develop an adequate understanding of it from those who have or claim to have an understanding of it. They are unable to communicate their understanding to K, thus keeping K from arriving at an understanding or conclusion. This of course brings us back to the failure to arrive (at a conclusion) which in turns leads to the failure to communicate, and so on. According to Heller, Kafka dramatizes these failures by creating forms in which they can interact with each other, i.e. characters. It is into this dramatization that Kafka draws us by a rather clever usage of basic trait of human nature. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is indeed correct that this movement is repeated again and again: it is a chain reaction in which some begets more of the same and so on and so forth. However, one wonders how Kafka manages to communicate this to the reader. It is certainly almost impossible to explain it through the medium of language since it has been explained in the text that language is ambiguous and only confounds and obfuscates. Yet by it's own definition then, it is perfectly suited to describe this movement and feeling in the novel. Kafka uses the container, and not the content, in order to communicate the movement to his readers. Yet in a sense the content, or rather the lack of it, also helps to communicate the movement. One expects that a container contains. It is logical that and object should fulfill its definition. In ascribing to this logic, one falls even deeper into the text as one searches for meaning and substance. One becomes lost and confused wading through all the superfluous packaging searching for the content. But there is no center; there is no content. We echo K in his search for the high court, the nub of the court system. He fails because there is no nub; there is no high court. ...read more.

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