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In the Penal Colony

In the Penal Colony


by Franz Kafka

The Soldier

Character Analysis

The soldier is a dull-witted fellow whose most distinct features are that he seems to fall asleep easily and that he's not very good at his job. He doesn't seem to know or care about what he's doing, and is basically only at the execution because it's his orders to be there and he's obedient. That's why it's almost a surprise to hear him talk in the epilogue and reveal something about the officer and the old Commandant we didn't know. Turns out he does know some valuable information.

The Soldier Timeline