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In the Penal Colony

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.