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The Trial Essays

4 samples in this category

The Trial': The Role of Totalitarianism

The opening lines of Franz Kafka’s The Trial are one of the most chilling and memorable of all time. A well-established chief banker, Josef K. is suddenly arrested one day by unidentified agents from an unidentified organization for committing an unidentified crime. What follows is a host of absurdities: the guilt of the protagonist is assumed, he is allowed to roam free despite being ‘under arrest’, trial processes take place in shady attics and the convicted has absolutely no idea...
3 Pages 1392 Words

The Trial': Plot Summary

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) has been called everything from a modernist to an existentialist, a fantasy writer to a realist. His work almost stands alone as its own subgenre, and the adjective ‘Kafkaesque’ – whose meaning, like the meaning of Kafka’s work, is hard to pin down – has become well-known even to people who have never read a word of Kafka’s writing. Perhaps inevitably, he is often misinterpreted as being a gloomy and humourless writer about nightmarish scenarios, when this...
2 Pages 823 Words

The Trial': The Role of Justice and Judgment

Kafka’s Trial questions the relationship of justice and the law (often capitalized in the novel as ‘the Law’). The thing about laws is that they’re supposed to be just. If there’s an unjust or an unfair law, we expect to be able to work to get the law overturned by appealing to higher principles of justice. (Consider, for example, the Civil Rights Movement. Racial segregation and discrimination were unjust; therefore we appealed to a higher principle of justice – racial...
1 Page 538 Words

The Issue of Bureaucracy in Franz Kafka’s “The Trial”

Written at the beginning of the 20th century “The Trial” depicts “the rise of bureaucracy, the power of law, and the atomization of the individual”, which are allegorically reflected in a story about Joseph K., a bank employee who is accused of unspecified crimes. This rather surreal and pessimistic narrative begins when two guards show up on K.’s 30th birthday and put him under arrest. Even though K. is allowed to continue living his life “normally”, he is trying to...
4 Pages 1664 Words
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