Brugel's Wisdom and How It May Have Changed the Destiny of K Table of Contents Introduction 3 Discussion 4 Conclusion 7 Works Cited 9 Introduction The overall atmosphere in the novel The Castle is one of frustration and a general feeling of somberness exhibited by K and showed towards what seemed to him and to the villages to be an opaque, implacable, and ultimately undecipherable and whimsical bureaucracy…
The wisdom of Brugel seems to be, on the other hand, one that is based on knowing that the whole situation is absurd, and one of seemingly being above all that absurdity, carrying on a somewhat lithe and nonchalant attitude towards all that is happening in The Castle, and in some way towards his own role in the bureaucracy as a kind of petty official, a secretary to a minor official in the Castle, who must himself be subjected to the same kind of whimsical nonsense that seems to pervade the transactions in the Castle. Against the determined somberness and seriousness of K, Brugel seems to take a counterpoint attitude of frivolity, lightness of attitude, and a somewhat carefree regard for the duties of the Castle, its effects on the secretary's life, and the role that he must fulfill within that bureaucracy in order to survive. In other words, where wisdom resides in Brugel is in that very attitude of not taking anything in the Castle, and not even taking himself or his boss, or his role in the castle, so seriously. Brugel seems to say, for one, that life is not all that serious, that in fact the seriousness is an outward expression of a person who is so taken up by his own efforts to understand something where there is nothing to understand, which seems to be the fate and the attitude that K has taken on for himself, so gloomy in contrast to the light attitude of Brugel. This wisdom of Brugel, if it did not change the fate of K, certainly at least must have changed somewhat K's perception of the Castle, and how he sees himself and his destiny in the context of an overly gloomy conception of life with the bureaucracy (Kafka). Discussion In the face of the difficulties faced by K with the bureaucracy, for one, with getting a job that suits his function as a surveyor of the land, Brugel's attitude is one of carefree nonchalance, detachment, and a sense that anything can be had and done without any serious effort whatsoever on the part of anyone dealing with the bureaucracy. Brugel was an insider, for sure, but also he was a mere secretary, and one, moreover, who spends a lot of his time not inside that bureaucratic machinery, working with papers and dealing with functionaries, but one who goes out to the castle to liaise between the people of the village and Brugel's boss. There is the exchange in the novel that highlights this, where Brugel expressed his condolences to K when K said that he is unable to work as a surveyor of the land, when Brugel, out of a sense of kindness maybe, or out of a sense of courtesy, or just wanting to get the small talk going, asked him how he was doing in terms of work. Brugel's attitude here is one of lightness, of conveying somewhat that the secretary was most sympathetic to K's plight, but that meanwhile there was really nothing to worry about. K, to Brugel, must have looked like someone who is gloomy for no reason. Why, there is no need to fret about that little detail about the surveying job, all it takes is for Brugel to look at it, no problem! This is at least how Brugel seems to see the situation. It was somewhat of a startling point to K, upon seeing and hearing Brugel talk and act this way, that here was an official who did not seem to know the difficulties that went to K's landing in the place and being given the run around with ...
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