In the Penal Colony
by Franz Kafka
The Soldier Timeline and Summary
- The soldier appears at the beginning of the story, restraining the condemned man.
- The soldier is sleepy, and can't understand what the explorer and the officer are saying anyway.
- The soldier, falling asleep, lets the condemned man come too close to the machine, and is awakened by the officer with a dirt clod. He restrains the condemned man.
- The soldier puts the condemned man in the machine, though clumsily. He breaks a strap.
- When the condemned man vomits, the soldier has to clean it up.
- The soldier is told to free the condemned man, and does. Then they play together.
- When the officer goes into the machine, the soldier stays and watches.
- After the officer's death, the soldier takes the explorer to the teahouse, where the old Commandant's grave is.
- The soldier, with the condemned man, tries to leave the colony with the explorer, but the explorer prevents them from doing so.