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Kafka: Gender, Class, and Race in the Letters and Fictions$
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Elizabeth Boa

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198158196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198158196.001.0001

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The Decaying Law Discourses of Gender, Class, and Race in The Trial

The Decaying Law Discourses of Gender, Class, and Race in The Trial

Chapter:
(p.181) 7 The Decaying Law Discourses of Gender, Class, and Race in The Trial
Source:
Kafka: Gender, Class, and Race in the Letters and Fictions
Author(s):

Elizabeth Boa

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198158196.003.0007

This chapter again discusses Kafka's views on gender, race, and class, vilely depicted in his famous work The Trial and his succeeding short stories. Kafka lived in an age where the boundaries of gender, class, and even race where unstable; that is to say, evolving into something else. The previous chapters already highlighted some of the emerging trends with regard to gender and it is again discussed here, where the once symbolic male image is reduced to a vampire-like beast and where the once moral and matronly women are transformed into aggressive whores. The Trial again highlights the emerging importance of women in general. Though its protagonist's love interest is simply a typist, it is enough to say that Kafka had somehow elevated their position in literature and even respected them; albeit, not to the point that would show their promiscuity. In the end, however, Kafka saw decay in the boundaries of gender, race, and class, wherein the lines between them are increasingly blurred by the changing world and where he finds himself in the middle of it all, powerless to adapt and change.

Keywords:   feminism, race, gender, boundaries, class, existentialism, Kafka

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