Book Review – The Castle By Franz Kafka

The Castle is Kafka’s most pleasant and emotional novel. The novel is combined with Metamorphoses. There is a strong undertone with complex emotions revolving around K, the lead in the story, who is a Land Surveyor by profession. He makes it to the castle to serve some unknown purpose as sent by an unknown person. Kafka refrains from admitting K’s true identity along with his purpose. As the story unleashes, the narrative frustrates the readers some more. The hinterland of the Castle grows so into K that he’s pulled off from accomplishment and blocks himself from anything beyond the castle’s boundary.

The Castle in the village that K visits is buried in mist and thick snow. No light falls there to surpass the gloom. Kafka gives a description of the castle in a suggestive manner, so as to intensify the reader’s focus. The village is located in a polar region where life is under the grind. The novel should be read in the deepest winter so that the reader can relate with the physical effort the villagers have to pass through to go about their daily chores.

The atmosphere and mood are the life blood of the novel, but confusing. However, you might get the hang of them as you continue reading. Worse still, it may leave you half understood and guessing. This is the trick Kafka adopts to get it misty. The story seems like a fairytale in a disguise.

One should not understand the Castle to be a document of bureaucracy and unfair process. The approach is rather more artistically designed, dealing with loneliness, pain, understanding, and human intimacy, the need to be respected and of course sex to say the least.

The book will scratch awake the dead wounds in your life, make you realise your vacuums even better; confront you with your basic unfulfilled human needs. You find K your alter ego who struggles for recognition and respect but intimidated by those who will not recognize his task or even his need to be in the village. K looks out for a partner, a subordinate to whom he can be rude any time.

Kafka returns to the truths of his own life perhaps which he would rather forget, so does the readers. I can thus safely call it one of the bests from Kafka which dissolves the burden tormenting our brains since long.


About the author: Shreyashi Das

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