thecastleandzarathustra

thecastleandzarathustra - Aaron Paul Houska Kafka/Nietzsche...

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Aaron Paul Houska Kafka/Nietzsche Winter 08 Third Paper Struggling With the Incomprehensible Void In Kafka’s The Castle , K. struggles with many forces, with the peasants, his as- sistants, castle officials, and, in fact, most things in the village at some point. The nature of the struggle can be seen in two lights, one in light of Kafka’s aphorism 7, that “one of the most effective means of seduction that evil has is the challenge to struggle. In this sense, K. is challenged by circumstances to struggle to understand the workings of the castle, and by struggling he only worsens his situation. The oth- er light is Nietzsche’s Zarathustra , which would cast his struggle as the struggle for true willing, the path neccissarily endless for otherwise it would be mere wishing. He is struggling for himself in the sense of identity To K., he is struggling to contact the castle, to meet his employer and survey the land. In this end, he struggles against various villagers and castle officials, trying to make the necessary connections with the castle so as to get there. From a greater distance, however, the reader can see that his struggle is in fact a struggle to exert his will in general, fighting to understand the intrinsically senseless operations of the castle. Perhaps subconsciously, he de- sires this struggle, as he identifies it right from the start of the novel: “. ..On one hand, this was unfavorable, for it shoes that the Castle had all necessary information about him, had assessed the opposing forces, and was taking up the struggle with a smile” (5). For K is invited (silently, by the castle) to struggle against the incomprehensibility of the workings of the castle. What he desires is of course impossible and he re- peatedly fails due to his ignorance of the village and refusal to take most advice. It
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is only when he forgets to struggle that he is finally able to exercise his will in the true sense of willing. The castle is elusive from the start of the novel, shrouded in “fog and darkness” (1). As K climbs the main road up to the castle, he finds that it keeps veering off away from the castle, never reaching it. The physical remoteness and inaccessibility of the castle is matched with the personal inaccessibility of castle officials. The massive castle bureaucracy keeps the officials at such a distance that communica-
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thecastleandzarathustra - Aaron Paul Houska Kafka/Nietzsche...

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