This essay The trial has a total of 10156 words and 41 pages.
by Franz Kafka
read by Geoffrey Howard
This disturbing and vastly influential novel has been interpreted on many levels of structure and symbol; but most commentators agree that the book explores the themes of guilt, anxiety, and moral impotency in the face of some ambiguous force.
Joseph K. is an employee in a bank, a man without particular qualities or abilities. He could be anyone, and in some ways he is everyone. His inconsequence makes doubly strange his “arrest” by the officer of the court in the large city where K. lives. He tries in vain to discover how he has aroused the suspicion of the court. His honesty is conventional; his sins, with Elsa the waitress, are conventional; and he has no striking or dangerous ambitions. He can only ask questions, and receives no answers that clarify the strange world of courts and court functionaries in which he is compelled to wander.
The plight of Joseph K., consumed by guilt and condemned for a “crime” he does not understand by a “court” with which he cannot communicate, is a profound and disturbing image of man in the modern world. There are no formal charges, no procedures, and little information to guide the defendant. One of the most unsettling aspects of the novel is the continual juxtaposition of alternative hypotheses, multiple explanations, different interpretations of cause and effect, and the uncertainty it breeds. The whole rational structure of the world is undermined.
Is it not better to fall into the hands of a murderer than into the dreams of a lustful woman? -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathustra
Chapter 1: The Arrest / Conversation with Frau Grubach / Then Fräulein Bürstner
Joseph K., our hero, wakes up the morning of his thirtieth birthday expecting his breakfast to be brought to him. What he gets instead are two warders, Franz and Willem, telling him he\'s under arrest. He protests some, demanding to see their boss, at first thinking it must be a joke perpetrated on him by some people at the Bank, where he works as a chief clerk. He meets the Inspector, who says it\'s for real but refuses to say why. The Inspector is seated in Fräulein Bürstner\'s room next door, and K. sees three men he knows from the bank there, Rabensteiner, Kaminer, and Kullich, whom he greets angrily before hurrying off to work.
After he gets home from work that evening, he talks with his landlady, Frau Grubach. He apologizes for the ruckus and she says it\'s all right, but that she doesn\'t really understand this business of his arrest. He starts to go to his room and asks if Fräulein Bürstner is in, so he can apologize for the appropriation of her room. No, she isn\'t, and he can see her room himself. Frau Grubach starts wondering about her nocturnal habits, as she\'s seen her with young men around town at night, only to be interrupted by K., defending her from unwarranted aspersions on her character. She leaves, and he goes to bed, where he can\'t sleep.
At about 11:30 Fräulein Bürstner, a typist, comes home and K. goes to talk to her. He tells her what happened that morning, but she doesn\'t seem to be really interested, asking bored questions about it, as if to get rid of him. A knock on the door down the hall interrupts them, and Joseph apologizes profusely for taking up her time and makes as if to leave, but not before grabbing her and kissing her savagely. Then he goes back to his own room.
Chapter 2: First Interrogation
Joseph gets a call at work telling him to show up for a brief inquiry into his case on Sunday. He goes to the building mentioned that Sunday, only to find it\'s just a big tenement house, with no distinguishing marks. After wandering through the building he at last is directed to the Court of Inquiry by a strange woman doing laundry. The Court is sitting in an overcrowded, stuffy room, with a platform and a big audience of important looking men. He gets berated for being late and is asked if he\'s a house painter. K. takes this opportunity to address the audience (which
Topics Related to The trial
Absurdist fiction, The Trial, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Law Order: Special Victims Unit
Essays Related to The trial
Khdsafkhdsaf Universal Essay: Slaughterhouse Five Throughout history, society, in general, has been molded by the ravages of war. From King Henry VII\'s invasion of Brittany, to the bloodshed on the shores of Iwo Jima, all the way to the present-day territory dispute in Bosnia and Herzegovina, war abounds mankind and its short history. As nations, ethnicities, ect. constantly attempt to outdo one another war will continue to arise. In recent years much has been said about the poor effects war has on s
Song of the Unsung AntiheroSong of the Unsung Antihero Abstract: The sober treatment of a lowly, unheroic protagonist in Arthur Miller\'s Death of a Salesman flatters the audience. The more obvious way that it flatters us is by alienating us from the protagonist in his downfall so that we watch his destruction from a secure vantage. Less obviously, the form of the play, typical of modern American tragedy, romanticizes the protagonist through what I call the audience\'s paradox, that tension created when a serious work of
Edward albee edward albee December 10, 00 Edward Albee burst onto the American theatrical scene in the late 1950s with a variety of plays that detailed the agonies and disillusionment of that decade and the transition from the calm Eisenhower to the turbulent 1960s. Albee became a serious dramatist dealing with serious but always relevant themes, primarily having to do with the predicament of humanity in a society with moral decay, as well as the conflict between reality and illusion. His work is considered
Elements of style in the street of crocodiles elements of style in the street of crocodiles The production of The Street of Crocodiles presented by Theatre de Complicite at the Queen’s Theatre in London exhibits evidence of a broad variety of theatrical styles. Adding to the complexity of the shows’ rich composition is the truth that it is a devised piece of theatrical work. The groups’ body of work has been widely regarded as innovative, garnering a number of major awards and nominations in the recent past. Dedicated to the collaborative
Black catblack cat The Effect of the Use of Irony on the Progress of Poe\'s Short Story, The Black Cat This Paper will interpret a short story, The Black Cat , by Edgar Allan Poe. My Purpose is to show the effect of the use of irony on the progress of the short story. I Suspect that use of irony in Edgar Allan Poe\'s short story, The Black Cat, is one of the main points which allows the hidden character of the Narrator, and the truth of the situation to be revealed and helps the reader to comprehend the
Modern DramaModern Drama What is Realism? Realism is the movement toward representing reality as it actually is, in art. Realistic drama is an attempt to portray real life on stage, a movement away from the conventional melodramas and sentimental comedies of the 1700s. It is expressed in theatre through the use of symbolism, character development, stage setting and storyline and is exemplified in plays such as Henrik Ibsen\'s A Doll\'s House and Anton Chekhov\'s The Three Sisters. The arrival of realism was
Pirandellopirandello Varieties of consciousness in Pirandello\'s Henry IV Studies in the Literary Imagination, Fall 2001 by Fairchild, Terry Monsieur Berenger, the guileless hero of Eugene Ionesco\'s A Stroll in the Air, spies along the English waterside one afternoon a visitor from the anti-world. Unruffled by this unusual phenomenon, he considers the stranger\'s origins: There\'s not just one Anti-World. There are several and ... they can all coexist in the same space (47). Daughter Marthe realizes her
Dramaturgisk analyse af Whos Afraid of Viginia Wol dramaturgisk analyse af Whos Afraid of Viginia Wolf Indledning Stykket Who´s Afraid of Viginia Wolf? er stærkt stof. Indfaldsvinklerne er utallige og tolkningsmulighederne ikke færre. Derfor er det også dragende. Man vil kunne kredse om den som månen om en planet, i en uendelighed uden at komme tættere kernen. Sætter man sig for at finde sandheden om Who´s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?, kommer man til kort. Stiller man et spørgsmål, følger der bare endnu flere spørgsmål med svaret. Derfor følger der