A Report for an Academy by Franz Kafka

In Franz Kafka’s “A Report for an Academy,” the passage to be reviewed in this essay, written from Red Peter’s perspective of his past, gives the reader insight into how he reflects on his journey. This passage shows how conditioning and striving for freedom can change someone. Red Peter is proud of his accomplishment. However, this passage shows how his time in a cage affected his views and actions. It shows his altered view of his past, which is also partially denial. His denial from the conditioning he was taught to believe is good is a common theme throughout the short story. After contextualizing the passage, the details that will be discussed will be Red Peter’s view of the world and his past, prominent themes that appear throughout, and symbolism. After this, echoes will be traced from this passage to the rest of the short story, and conclusions will be made.

This passage takes place nearing the end of the short story when Red Peter is reflecting on his “previous life as an ape” (Kafka 3). In this short story, Red Peter is explaining his life as an ape, what he remembers, and his view on his past. At the beginning of the short story, it was clear that he had been under an extreme conditioning process. He often talked about being trapped, which he was in the cage. His only goal was to find a “way out”. Red Peter was not like most apes, though, he did not try to get out by banging and acting up, but quite the opposite. He knew if he was to escape “they would have captured [him] again and locked [him] up in an even worse cage” (Kafka 6). Red Peter realized that he was getting rewarded for doing things more human like. “The first thing [he] learned was to give a handshake” (Kafka 3) a “handshake displays candour” (Kafka 3) which was his ultimate goal. He wanted to be seen as well trained as possible so that he would be let out of the cage.

How he reflects on is past is important because it shows how he has b…