In this story, pain is a major precondition for comprehending one's sins: nobody can decipher the Designer's writing except he who has reached the halfway mark of his ordeal. Enlightenment "begins around the eyes. From there it radiates. A moment that might tempt one to get under the Harrow oneself." This is Kafka at his masochistic best. Yet there is also a philosophical meaning to this cult of pain. Insight and death go hand in hand, and transfiguration is the reward of those undergoing torture.