The figure of the
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.