"The Castle" by Franz Kafka is based on a small village that is dominated by a castle. At the village, a nameless protagonist shows up claiming to be a land surveyor, but the castle authorities reject him. The ensuing plot of the novel is based on the attempts of K. to prove himself worthy to the village authorities. K. stays at the village wooing the elusive Castle authorities although he is unable to accomplish his goal (Kohzadi, Hamedreza, and Fatemeh Azizmohammadi 715). On the other hand, the Modern Times by Charlie Chaplin is based on Tramp who is a cog in a factory whose main job is tightening bolts. However, Tramp does not appreciate his work, and the monotony of his work at the factory makes him sick. After being discharged in the hospital Tramp is caught in a riot and arrested after the police mistake him as the leader. At the prison, Tramp unconsciously stops a jailbreak, and he is treated well at the prison. However, while he is getting comfortable, he is pardoned and allowed to go back to his normal life where he has to struggle to earn a living (Howe, Lawrence 45).
In Kafkas novel The Castle," K. is the protagonist who has just arrived in a village where he tries to get to the influential Castles position because he wants to change the laws that govern the land. K. is not accepted in this village, and neither is he rejected, he lives there in an undetermined line of living (Kohzadi, Hamedreza, and Fatemeh Azizmohammadi 716).The people in that village know that the superior officials of the castle are not doing right, but they protect their actions by all means of writing big monologues. K., by all means, tries to reach to Klamm who is the superior official of the castle but his efforts are futile. K. even engages in an affair with Frieda, a barmaid in the castle but the barmaid notices what K. is trying and immediately leaves him. On arriving in this village, K. is offered a job as a caretaker in a school and is also secured with two assistants, but the assistants do not help him too. K.is not accepted by the people by the village and they do not support his aim to reach the superiors of the castle. This book shows a theme of abuse of power because Klamm who is the official of the castle oppresses the villagers but the villagers have no say as they cannot talk against the castle. Instead, they support their actions (Kohzadi, Hamedreza, and Fatemeh Azizmohammadi 715).
In Chaplin's Modern Times," little tramp faces difficulty in fitting in in the modern society that is advanced. He faces challenges of unemployment and poverty, and he does not fit in the social society. Tramp secures a job in a factory and faces abuse that causes him to have a mental breakdown. His bosses instruct him to screw two bolts in a running machine which is a high case of oppression. After he faces mental breakdown, he gets laid off from the job and goes back to the unemployment sector which struggles to have a basic living in the society. This book shows a theme of abuse of power just like in The Castle. Tramp faces abuse from his bosses who think they have a right to oppress him in his job working in a factory (Howe, Lawrence 45).
In conclusion, the characters K. and Tramp try hard to fit in societies and alienation is the major common theme. In the castle, K. faced a problem of fitting in the society where he is accepted to live but rejected at the same time, just like Tramp in the modern times who tried to fit the modernized society of being employed but is oppressed and laid off after suffering a mental breakdown. In both instances, the protagonists, K. and Tramp try to fight the oppression of man by man. Tramp tries to denounce the exploitation of man by man by using humor and composing songs that try to present the class struggle and how they face oppression. The same case appears in the castle, where K. tries to reach to the superior of the castle to at least change the oppressing laws to the others but he fails as no one wants to help him get to Klamm. Men at the top have taken the ones with no power to act like robots, on the advantage of their good. These writings try to show how man has to struggle, face hardships and submit to superior powers to live a normal and good life. In the village, of the castle, people write monologues to cover for the actions of the officials of the Castle and would not succumb to any person trying to interfere with the castle, maybe because they fear excursion from the society or fear of not fitting in. Similarly, Tramp continues to do his oppressing job till he loses his mind because he is afraid of being unemployed and thus fail to fit in the modern society and it can be concluded that abuse of power dominates the need to fit in society.
Howe, Lawrence. "Charlie Chaplin in the age of Mechanical Reproduction: reflexive ambiguity in Modern Times." College Literature 40.1 (2013): 45-65.
Kohzadi, Hamedreza, and Fatemeh Azizmohammadi. "Identity, Alienation, and Theology in Franz Kafka's The Castle." Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 70 (2013): 715-718.
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