People may interpret the story “Before the Law” by Franz Kafka in different ways. However, I consider the stories main idea to be religious. The story talks about a mysterious object the “Law” that is guarded heavily by a doorkeeper. What is considered to be the Law, and how does one gain entrance to it? Looking at the story from a religious point of view the Law would be representing heaven, or a sense of sovereignty. The doorkeeper guards the gates of heaven and the only way one can gain entrance is by living a righteous and honorable life. Being able to get through the doorkeeper and have access to the Law would mean that one has lived a respectable, sin free life on earth. In the story the country man is unable to achieve entrance, so apparently he has not been obedient of the rules on earth to have access to heaven, the “Law”. The man is very adamant and persistent about getting through the doorkeeper, “there he sits for days and years” (Franz, 2010, pg 350) It is like a judgment day, others are trying to access the Law as well through admittance of other doorkeepers, “keepers stand at every door”. (Kafka, 2010 pg 350) My theory on the story is that the country man was on his death bed and was getting ready to retreat to heaven (the Law) and God (the doorkeeper) was not ready for him, it was not his time so the doorkeeper (God) would not give him access to the Law (heaven) just yet; “the doorkeeper says that he can’t let the man in just now. The man thinks this over and then asks if he will be allowed to enter later”. “It’s possible,” answers the doorkeeper, “but not just now.” (Kafka, 2010 pg 350) The doorkeeper wants to give the man one last chance to live his life right before he admits him access to the Law. God gives the country man another chance at life, “this entrance was meant for you alone, now I am going to shut it.” (Kafka, 2010 pg 350) Reference
Kafka, F., (2010). Before the Law. In X. J. Kennedy & D. Gioia (Eds.),...
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