Birth is a curse and existence is a prison.

prison, jail, criminal @ Pixabay

The opening paragraph should include Kafka’s idea that life is a prison and existence is a curse.

The idea of life as a prison is ever-present in Kafka’s The Trial.

In the protagonist Josef K.’s first quote, he says that his “existence” can be easily disposed of and replaced with something else (Kafka 106).

This means that because people are replaceable, there is no point to life.

If death were final then it would not matter if one person died or another because all humans have equal worthlessness before God.

This was most likely an influence from Josef’s Jewish faith which emphasized the cyclical nature of time where nothing has true permanence (Zorn 200: 129).

All things come into being at some point but eventually they will die out again.

prison, prison cell, jail @ Pixabay

As well as this line from The Trial, in the conclusion of Kafka’s life and work we can see that he believed people were living in a prison.

In his unfinished novel Amerika there is one character who asks: “Where am I?

In what kind of place?” (Kafka 252).

This idea of humanity as imprisonment also resonates through Albert Camus’ philosophical essay The Myth of Sisyphus. For example, after acknowledging the meaning.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here