Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kafkaeske: When your tormentors are punished worse than you are

So our hero is surprised, again, but this time the two crooked policemen are prisoners of "the whip man" and are to be punished. It seems that when our hero complained to the judge about the wicked system - of which the policemen are a part - it put the policemen in great trouble.

Do you know what it is that’s made him so fat? He’s in the habit of, everyone that gets arrested by him, he eats their breakfast. Didn’t he eat up your breakfast? Yeah, I thought as much. But a man with a belly like that can’t be made into a whip-man and never will be, that is quite out of the question.” “There are whip-men like that,” Willem insisted, who had just released the belt of this trousers. “No,” said the whip-man, striking him such a blow with the cane on his neck that it made him wince, “you shouldn’t be listening to this, just get undressed.”

The summary corporal punishment for the two policemen seems entire out of place against the prolonged, but (physically at least) benign treatment of Joseph K. All part of the overarching torment, I suppose.

Kaf·ka·esque [kahf-kuh-esk]
2. marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity: Kafkaesque bureaucracies.
1945–50 Kafka + -esque

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