The Trial By Franz Kafka

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The Trial by Franz Kafka, an incomplete novel chalked full of questions and confusion – leading readers to ask questions such as “why does the court function how it does?” and “what the heck is K. being arrested for again?” Although Kafka predicates the novel on these two ideas, the court and Josef K., never do readers explicitly gain a comprehensive or satisfactory understanding of the pair. In light of the fact that The Trial is an incomplete novel, Kafka intentionally leaves the function of the court and K.’s true character up for question. Kafka accomplishes this by never giving a true name to either the court or Josef K., keeping the upper levels of the court a secret, and in Josef K.’s transition from successful banker to complete obsession with the court. Luckily, Kafka offers a trail of breadcrumbs that enables his readers to begin answering some of the questions presented in this book. This essay illuminates these “breadcrumb” moments scattered throughout the novel to reveal the true relationship between the court and its subjects. Furthermore, this essay asserts that the court was in fact correct in its conviction of Josef K. as evidenced in the last chapter of this novel. In this novel, Kafka writes about a court system unlike anything seen today. Although Kafka never gives an explicit description of the court, readers can gain a firm understanding of how the court functions via proper close reading and synthesis of the novels many parts. One of the first pieces

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