Kafka has been my favourite author since I was in university. His works are really of my kind of thing because I love what is complicated, and they, the ample narratives without limits of analysis, cannot be classified into one genre. The Trial or The Castle is very hard to read through, so here I’d like to offer a short story.
The story entitled ‘Before the Law’ is an excerpt from The Trial as a short story which the priest tells K. What is a lesson in this story? Just only thinking of that, you could understand how abundant this story is.
Standing before the gate of the law, a man asks a guardian to permit him to pass through it, but the guardian rejects, “not yet”. He also says, even if the man forcibly goes inside, he’ll end up confronting a stronger guardian, and much stronger guardian waits as a next…and so on. The man keeps on waiting for many years, finally comes to be dying. And following dialogue unfolds before his dead.
“Why has nobody visited to go inside…everybody wants the law?”
“Nobody can go inside. This gate was just for you. Anyway, I’ll go and close the gate.”
Impossible to understand it. No, correctly, it’s not impossible to understand it but impossible to recognise all of its uncountable meanings which we can suppose. Besides, logic of the story prevents us from identifying the meaning. The reason why he is waiting for a long time is that, in short, this is one of the striking characteristics of Kafka’s stories. The Castle, in which the castle in question is never found, The Trial, in which the trial is never begun, “The Burrow”, in which the enemy mole approaches but never appears in spite of its sound and “A Message from the Emperor”, in which a man running cannot go outside the castle. Kafka intends to divide infinitely the procedure associating the beginning with the ending, in order to describe our struggling condition in which one cannot reach at the truth. His desire to go inside the gate of the law is not achieved as its procedure is lengthened. “To know” is not permitted.
Turing to our life, such a thing is often found. There are time and labour imposed on us to achieve something. Implication as such is woven in the story. What we feel, when confronting what is difficult to achieve, is filled with this episode.