The Injustice and Cruel System in the Penal Colony

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The story the Penal Colony is written by Frank Kafka in 1914 where he tells about the injustice and the cruel system they use to punish people. The machine is called the apparatus which is use to punish and execute prisoners, the way it works is by writing the prisoner’s sentence into their body with needles. The machine keeps the executor alive for 12 hours by stopping his blood feeding the person to make sure they stay alive until the punishment is over. According to the story “ the guilty sentence is written on a script that is turn written on a script that is turn written onto the fresh by the harrow that is made of needles that can be seen through glass.” At the beginning of the story, the traveler got invited to the penal colony by the new commandant so he can witness an execution of the prisoner.

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The guilty ones don’t have to opportunity to defend themselves they have to accept their punishment, and this prisoner’s crime was that he failed in waking up every hour to welcome a captain’s door at night that was the reason of his execution. Furthermore, when the prisoner knew he was getting punished he didn’t begged for forgiveness he instead was confronting the officer and threatened him that if he didn’t put that whip away he will eat him alive. Since the beginning the traveler never agreed about that cruel punishment they will do to people by torturing them in a machine for twelves hours, he was unenthusiastic and unhappy that he even tried changing the officer’s mind to leave the machine as a punishment but at the end it didn’t work out because he was not convinced.

The officer was a cruel man, he enjoyed talking about the machine explaining it very detailed even though he knew people suffered and he was the only one who had access to guiding plans of the apparatus. The prisoner’s execution time came, they completed naked him while they were getting prepared they started to get some problems from the apparatus because a strap broke and the officer started complaining about the new commandant about how he’s was careless and the lack of funds and not taking care of it in order to keep the machine working properly like the old commandant did. The officer was the right hand of the commandant, he was the colony’s judge and he had this belief that always said which was “ Guilt is never to be doubted.”

The prisoner was described as being clumsy and confused of what was going on , since he only spoke French so he really didn’t understand the role of the apparatus, he knew he was disobeying the officer that’s why he got arrested and punished because he didn’t do his duty and what he was supposed to. The officer finally released the prisoner and now the officer gets naked and climbs into the machine. As soon as he did that, the traveler felt uncomfortable with the officer’s conduct but at the end he thought he made the right decision to murder himself because it shows his courageous dedication he has to his judicial system. The prisoner and soldier though it was the perfect time to take revenge on the officer and for him to suffer just like others did. According to the story “ the explorer orders the two men to go home, but the prisoner begs to stay. Before his annoyance turns to violence, the explorer is distracted by the apparatus, which is no longer silent but quite loudly falling to pieces.” The explorer had to act because if not the death of the officer would have been a murder instead of being an exquisite torture, the officer looked calm but the apparatus was torturing him that it drove a spike through his head where he was completely dead and the apparatus finally stopped working.

In conclusion, this story really shows the injustice and how cruel people can be treated and how people can be punish in a penal colony. This story really pictures me an idea of how four men’s and the apparatus can impactful image of a society and how much they can be tortured. Punishment is the same for everyone not matter what kind of crime you commit, the judicial system for the colony doesn’t recognize the unfairness and prejudice that is because prisoners don’t have the right to proof themselves as not being guilty and not having to be abuse by the apparatus.




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