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Justice and Freewill

On of the texts which I found to be profoundly laden with meaning was the passage in which the officer suggests to the traveler that he could perform the barbaric execution procedure. “You could do it” the officer repeats severally. This brings to the fore aspects the need to care or intervene when you are required to witness what you believe is against your beliefs (Kafka and Berkoff 65). The different world views expressed by the soldier and the traveler reveal the chasm in thought regarding what is barbaric and what is common and normal. This passage offers great insights on what the author intended to put forth in writing the text. The passage raises questions of rightness and wrongness of action and inaction in circumstances of self doubt and fear of the unknown. Franz Kafka puts forth the question what is truthfulness and what is justice. The traveler is requested by the soldier not to lie but simply no0t to tell the truth. The author puts forth the question, at what point does withholding the truth be deemed an act of untruthfulness or injustice (Kafka and Berkoff 78-86). What does it mean to be guilty or innocent is a question which is clearly set out in this passage. The traveler is asked by the executioner to go against what the soldier believes is the right thing to do. An important point that Kafka puts forth is the commonality of human nature. The executioner and the commandant know full well that their execution customs are not humane and so they make all effort to persuade the traveler to affirm their suitability. Kafka asserts the universal hypocrisy of people in power through the actions of the commandant and the executioner. He also asserts the idiocy of the masses who take in everything they are told by applauding their customs without due appraisal. A very important message that Kafka sends, is the significance of one man in changing the society (Kafka and Berkoff 87-90). The responsibility of speaking out against injustice is placed upon the traveler. A denunciation of the customs would definitely lead to the masses asking for change, while going by the wishes of the executioner and commandant would mean the disgusting customs continue unabated.



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