Achieving goals are uncertain at best.

from The Castle by Franz Kafka page 37 fiction ~2 min read

‘One more thing[1], Miss Frieda,’ he said, ‘it’s extraordinary, and takes great strength of mind, to work your way up from dairymaid to barmaid, but is that the height of ambition for a person like you? No, what a silly question. Your eyes—don’t laugh at me, Miss Frieda—speak not so much of past struggles as of struggles yet to come. But there are great obstacles in the world, they become greater the greater your goals, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of in making sure you have the help of a man who may be small and uninfluential, but is none the less ready to fight. Perhaps we could talk quietly some time, without so many eyes watching us.’ ‘I don’t know what you’re after,’ she said, and this time, against her will, her tone of voice spoke not of the triumphs of her life but of its endless disappointments. ‘Are you by any chance trying to take me away from Klamm? Good heavens!’ And she struck her hands together. ‘You see right through me,’ said K., as if worn out by such distrust. ‘Yes, I secretly intended to do that very thing. I wanted you to leave Klamm and become my lover instead. Well, now I can go. Olga!’ cried K. ‘We’re going home.’[2]


  1. Why K. talks to Frieda, ‘With those soft hands,’ said K., half questioning, and not sure himself whether he was merely flattering her or she had really made a conquest of him... K. looked enquiringly at her, but she shook her head and would say no more. ‘Of course you have your secrets,’ said K., ‘and you won’t discuss them with someone you’ve known for only half an hour, and who has had no chance to tell you anything about himself yet.’ But that, it turned out, was the wrong thing to say; it was as if he had woken Frieda from a slumber in which she liked him, for she took a small piece of wood out of the leather bag that hung from her belt, stopped up the peephole with it, and said to K., visibly forcing herself not to let him see how her mood had changed: ‘As for you, I know everything about you. You are the land surveyor.’ ↩︎

  2. Immediately after, "Now Frieda said quietly, with a dark glance at K.: ‘When can I speak to you?’ ‘Can I stay the night here?’ asked K. ‘Yes,’ said Frieda." ↩︎

—Franz Kafka, The Castle, p. 37