This Final Essay for World Literature Section 008 compares the texts “In the Penal Colony” by Franz Kafka and “Death Constant Beyond Love” by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez while analyzing themes of colonialism, corruption, and greed. Both authors are recognized for producing works rich with political and social commentary, and reading these stories allows one to gain new perspectives on these themes. In this essay, I share insight into the events that occurred during the stories' creation that contribute to the overall themes. Additionally, I connect these themes to modern events to demonstrate how the ideas put forth by Kafka and Garcia-Marquez are timeless and stress the importance of acknowledging them in the twenty-first century.

This piece was written for a course that focused on texts about countries, or by authors from countries, that have histories of dictatorships, colonization, bloody revolutions, war, and other turbulent events. The student was asked to write an essay that makes an argument about how two different literary texts treat the complications of places that have tumultuous histories and how those complications affect characters and/or writers.