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"Three stories of Franz Kafka, featuring the theme of isolation and social laws including Before The Law, excluding Metamorphisis"
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Franz Kafka’s parable Before the Law is an enigmatic contemplation of a man and his relation to social laws and the isolation he faces throughout his existence. The story explains the life of a man who attempts to gain admittance to a pathway referred to as the Law. When the man confronts the doorkeeper about admittance, the doorkeeper responds that he cannot admit him now, but possibly at a later date he will be allowed to pass. The man looks inside of the path and the doorkeeper witnesses him doing so and says to him that he may attempt to enter despite his wishes but that there are many more doorkeepers ahead, the third of which the original doorkeeper believes is so hideous he can’t even look at. The man resigns himself to his current situation and pulls up a stool and sits on it in anticipation of being admitted into the pathway. As the years pass the man gives everything to the doorkeeper attempting to bribe him, but is consistently rebuffed in his attempts to be granted admittance to the pathway. Finally, as the man is about to die, he asks the doorkeeper why other people haven’t attempted to gain admittance to the pathway and the doorkeeper responds, “No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am going to shut it (p. 3).”
While the exact definition of what the Law constitutes in this story is vague, one can assume that it represents some form of society or level of existence that the man has been attempting to gain admittance to. In this regard, it represents the life the man wants but cannot attain because of restraining social laws. However hard the man tries to advance his life and existence, he is constantly faced with the inevitable conclusion that he is stuck in his current position. Ultimately, the story is a meditation on the absurdity of existence and the isolation it entails. Not only is the man unable to gain admittance into the doorway, but he must wait in isolation throughout his entire
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The main contribution of Chatman remains the cinematic narrator that he referred to as non-human agent, “the composite of a large and complex variety of communicating devices” (Chatman 134). These aspects include sound, music, voice, lighting, camera distance, mise-en-scene, and editing among other things.
The interpretation in this document is made from the translation by Ian Johnston of Vancouver Island University of Frank Kafka’s story: “A Country Doctor” (Kafka 1919, pp. 1-5).
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