Franz kafka "Before the Law".

Essay by buckmaster411College, Undergraduate September 2003

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In his story, Before the Law, Franz Kafka suggests that obstacles that one faces in life can either be used to mold one's success or bring about one's failure. If one can overcome the challenges that they are faced with, they grow in a unique type of way, for every individual perceives each situation in a distinct fashion. That unique type of growth is what establishes a person's character and perception of the world. However, if one cannot overcome their obstacles, then they cut off their means for growth and are left uninspired, forgetting any dreams or aspirations. It is through the man's interactions with the doorkeeper, and his inability to overcome this obstacle, that eventually leads him down the path of complacency and failure. It is the doorkeeper in this parable that keeps the man from gaining access to the law, and his inability to pass this doorkeeper that leads to his demise.

It is important to realize that the man strives to reach "the law", however he winds up getting only as far as the doorkeeper. A question arises here, what would have happened if the man was able to overcome the doorkeeper and enter the gate? The doorkeeper himself somewhat provides an answer to this question when he warns the man that he is "only the least of the doorkeepers. From hall to hall there is one doorkeeper after the other, each more powerful than the last. The third doorkeeper is already so terrible that even I cannot bear to look at him." Of course these are difficulties that the man from the country has not expected, and instead of taking his chances, the doorkeeper gives him a stool and lets him sit down at one side of the gate. The man failed to realize that even...