Franz Kafka's dream was to go to America. It ends up working its way into many of his works. In his novel, Amerika, a boy is sent to America by his family. The first chapter is titled, "The Stoker."

In "The Stoker," a young man by then name of Karl Rossmann. He is about to exit the ship when he realizes that he left his umbrella below deck. He goes down to retrieve it, but quickly gets lost. He is pulled into a room.

The man explains that he is the stoker of the ship and what he is tired of people looking at him from the hallway. He states that he would enjoy for someone to talk to him and come in the door.


Karl proclaims that the captain had misjudged the stoker. The stoker then is allowed to state his case. However he does so in a very unorganized manner. Karl asks him to be more organized when speaking.

Suddenly an unexpected guest arrives in the middle of the debate. The man says his name is Mr. Jakob, a senator. He says he is Karl's uncle.

The conversation immediately changes to congratulations at finding long lost family. The two are shuffled off the ship. As Karl looks back from the boat to shore he cannot see the stoker on the ship.

The stoker also explains that he had been fired by his Romanian boss because he is not German. Karl and the stoker then go to visit his boss.

The two are pushed out of the captain's room because they seem to be unimportant. But Karl makes a scene of it and rushes back into the room.



Kafka hoped that he could work out the poor relationship with his father, as did the stoker and the captain. In that sense it is the story of Kafka's life.