During tough times, readers and audiences often seek an escape from the banality of life. The turn of the twentieth century was unequivocally a disconcerting time of transition for Europe. It is in this context that Franz Kafka captured the complex surrealism and absurd loneliness of urban life. His writing functioned as a condemnation and a vindication of an era that provided no simplistic answers to pressing social questions. Anarchist overtones, Marxist critiques, and deliberate existentialism; all of it dark and none of it clear-cut.