Although Kafka’s stories don’t lend themselves directly to substantive lessons for politics, law, or economics, they can lead to a better understanding of the human condition (at least as Kafka sees it). In works such as The Castle, The Trial, The Metamorphosis, and Amerika, Kafka depicts societies as closed systems that hinder the individual’s natural yearning for freedom—in contrast to societies with consensual trade in free markets, the common law, and political pluralism that secures individual rights.

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