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The Paradox of the Employee

Variants of a Social Theme in Modern Literature


Andrew Weeks

The figure of the Employee or Angestellte often plays a central rolein modern literature as a creature of ambiguity, indeterminacy and paradox. In tracing the origins and development of this thematic pattern, The Paradox of the Employee delineates the parallels linking Kafka's Castle to the Habsburg civil servants' abortive struggle for a service charter, and explores Orwell's prefiguration of the themes of «1984» in his earlier treatments of the salaried middle class.
Contents: The theme and its origins - Analysis of works by Herman Melville, John Davidson, Georg Kaiser, Arthur Miller, Emile Zola, Robert Walser, Franz Kafka, Hans Fallada, George Orwell.