Teacher Guide

In the Penal Colony Lesson Plan

About the Author

Kafka's biography reads almost like a critical analysis of his work, for so much of the neurotic tension of his writing finds its clear origin in the events of his life. Franz Kafka was born on July 3, 1883 in the Jewish ghetto of Prague. He was an outsider from the start. Prague's Jews were doubly outsiders because they spoke German—the official language of the Hapsburg Empire—in a Czech city, yet they were considered neither Germans nor Czechs. Moreover, as an "assimilated" non-believer, Kafka was an outsider even in the Jewish community. Later in life, he would learn Hebrew and dream of going to Palestine, but he never fully accepted Judaism, and though he seemed to remain religious,...

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