Franz Kafka's The Trial Essays

Franz Kafka's The Trial Essays

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Franz Kafka’s famously translated novel The Trial was thought by many to be strongly influenced by his strong background and affiliations with theater and literature. Within the novel, Kafka refers to various types of the art form including, physical art, performing arts and acting, and the art of how a person moves and/or interacts with others. Critics have argued that Kafka’s background was the influence to the novel, while others strongly disagree. Was Kafka’s references to the performing arts within the novel his way of portraying life as a play, something that is scripted and planned out or was it simply the main character treating his situation as an unrealistic event and a joke?
Franz Kafka always had a strong background in literature and writing. Pursuing a career in law, Kafka put his writing skills to good use, but he always had a knack and passion for writing literature such as short stories, poetry and full novels more than working his actual job. By the age of 27, Kafka attended a play put on by a Yiddish theatre troupe performing in Prague. With the lack of money the troupe had, they became stranded in the town, where Kafka gained his interest in Yiddish theatre (Gray, 301). With the stranding of this troupe, critics believed this to be what led to the influence of most of Kafka’s later writings. This is believed due to the evidence of a journal found after Kafka’s death. These journals kept records of performances he attended, plot synopses, character analysis, descriptions of staging and critiques of the performances (Gray, 301). Kafka also had a journal filled with vignettes about specific productions, along with brief reflections on the theater and the production (Puchner, 177). We first see Kafka showin...

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...ass levels, interactions between characters and stronger meaning behind the plot. His subtle use of references to the performing arts allows the reader to leave interpretation to those scenes and what each character could possibly represent in that situation.


Franz Kafka." 2014. The website. May 02 2014

Kafka's Antitheatrical Gestures." Taylor and Francis. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2014.

"Radical Play: Gesture, Performance, and the Theatrical Logic of the Law in Kafka." Taylor and Francis. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2014.>

Kafka, Franz. The trial. Definitive ed. New York: Knopf, 19571956. Print.

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