Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Amerika - post III

There is something about the characters in Kafka that you struggle with because they seem to lack backbone and allow themselves to get pushed easily into terrible situations. Just like with Joseph. K in The Trial Karl Rossmann seems to walk through life with a blind acceptance of what will come. What makes it feel so suffocating is that you know that with just a little effort he would be free of the tyranny of his current situation. It makes you think that the point Kafka was making is that we are all making mistakes and allowing ourselves to be abused it’s just that it is not on a scale and as clearly as it happens to Karl and Joseph K.

Bullet points between pages 100 – 158

* Having become established at the hotel as a lift boy Karl works hard to keep his position and better it by learning about business management in his spare time and a part from the head cook’s secretary Therese he has almost no other friends

* Therese tells the story of how her mother committed suicide after finding so sanctuary from the biting cold and poverty one winter when Therese was small and you sense she is falling in love with Karl

* Things are ticking over but then Robinson turns up, the Irish man from the inn, and gets drunk and lands Karl in trouble because he deserts his post and in the end after a confrontation with the head porter and head waiter he ends up losing his job

* As he tries to leave the hotel there is a typical moment of suffocating oddness when Karl is accosted by the head porter and is on the point of becoming some sort of prisoner subjected to occasional bouts of torture when he escapes

* But he cannot escape the Irishman who takes him back to his French companion who has landed on his feet becoming the lover and assistant of a rich singer who treats Robinson like a dog and seems set to add Karl to her collection of attendants

Will Karl resist and leave Robinson and the singer or will he get trapped with them? Tomorrow’s reading should hold the answers…

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