There aren’t many descriptions of the setting discussed in the story, while in the process of reading it, the reader seems to only know that there is a gate, a doorkeeper, and a man trying to get in. It is not until the end of the story that it is realized that there may in fact not be a setting at all. Kafka wrote this parable with the intentions of that when the reader was beginning to read, they would assume that the gate the man is trying to get access into is guarding a building or some other place that humans could physically go to.
While instead he was telling a story about the human mind. That last few sentences in the story being, “The doorkeeper recognizes that the man has reached his end, and to let his failing senses catch the words, roars in his ear: ‘No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it. ’ “ giving away Kafkas hidden message. The way that you look at the story, or possibly even the way you have lived your life thus far, can persuade how you take the message that Kafka is trying to give to the readers.
The story is written in a third person narrative form, Kafka doesn’t give much detail as to the surroundings in the story but he does let you get into the mans head. He writes, “Yet in his darkness, he is now aware of a radiance that streams inextinguishably from the gateway of the Law. ” Kafka is letting you in on how the man feels and how he views the gate. The way Kafka ends this story makes the reader have to think about their life almost involuntarily. The only difference in how each person thinks is: Where do you think the gate has access to? What do you think the law is? And why do you think the man wants to get in it?
My answers to those previously stated questions may be different than many but I feel as if Kafka was trying to get the readers to understand that the law is every human beings own and personalized sanctuary. Society says that finding the job of your dreams, the lover of your dreams, and the house of your dreams is what makes you happy. I feel as if finding ones own inner peace is what truly makes you happy. The armed guards in this story represent the pathway and the battles that one has to take to get the their inner sanctuary. Each time you get past one guard, the next is harder to get through.
The guards represent each level of growing into your own person and figuring out yourself and who you are. The story writes, “ ‘Everyone strives to reach the Law,’ says the man, ‘so how does it happen that for all these many years no one but myself has ever begged for admittance? ’ “ The man is doing what he thinks everyone else wants to do, he is not doing it out of pure satisfaction for himself, that is why he is not strong enough to even get past the first guard. At the end of the story it is then revealed that the gate was only meant for the man, but he didn’t try hard enough to get in before the light took him over.
If only the man would have went to attempt to beat the guard would he have then realised that the path through the law would lead to his inner peace and serenity. He would have to fight harder and harder battles each time but he choose to not even try to get past the first guard. This story shows how the man has to fight to get what he wants and if he does not try to do so, he will die with nothing but an unanswered question and an unpeaceful mind. The setting could just possibly be within ones own mind, but it could also be everything in the physical world. Or both at the same time.
Courtney from Study Moose
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