Essay about The Trial : A Totalitarian System Of Justice

Essay about The Trial : A Totalitarian System Of Justice

Length: 1099 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Franz Kafka’s novel “The Trial” examines a totalitarian system of justice that appears stems from human attempts to attain justice. An external, secret court exists outside of the public eye but holds the authority to carry out trials and judgements. When a startled Josef K is charged with some undisclosed act, Kafka examines the corrupt and absurd nature of the judiciary. As corruption runs through the system, it becomes normative and systemic in nature. Moreover, secrecy threatens the accused right to a fair trial, while symbols illustrate the totality of the justice system. Kafka utilizes symbolism and foreshadowing to depict a corrupt and bureaucratic judiciary. This stems from human attempts to attain justice, which develops as a theme of injustice throughout the novel.

Systemic levels of corruption run through the justice system Kafka depicts, creating an unjust system. From early on in the novel, the author is exposed to the backroom nature of the court system, where bribes are expected and influence required to win cases. While discussing the matter with his attorney, the protagonist, Josef K is told, “it’s even possible they will pretend to be carrying on the trial in the hope of receiving a large bribe” (Kafka 71). The normative nature of bribery is revealed to the reader through this excerpt as bribery is being plainly discussed. In modern judiciaries, bribery is illegal and shunned from public eyes, yet Kafka’s totalitarian justice rewards those who can afford and are willing to make bribes, creating an unjust system. Moreover, influence is revealed as being just as important in assuring trial verdicts are positive for the accused. When Josef K discusses the matter with Herr Huld, his attorney, Kafka demonstrates th...

... middle of paper ...

...teria regarding guilt or innocence. Consequently, the totality of justice and the authority individuals have within the system undermine any hope of a fair trial for the accused.
In closing, Kafka’s “The Trial” utilizes symbols and foreshadowing to depict a corrupt and inefficient judiciary. As characters attempt to attain justice, the system in place perpetuates injustice toward the accused. Kafka’s work illustrates the dangers of a totalitarian system of justice and the need for public vigilance coupled with equal access to the law. While the novel may appear absurd at times, the overall theme of injustice is clearly demonstrated throughout and is systemic in nature. Human attempts to attain justice must root themselves in a careful balance between the accused and the abstract law. When this balance is eroded, totalitarian justice can seem to become normative.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Formal Legal System Of China Essay

- ... 102). The duties of the police remained as was until the establishment of the 1995 Law on People’s Police of the People’s Republic of China, which transformed the focus of the police force from “political dissonance”, to the protection of the people (Dammer & Albanese, 2011, p. 102). Although the Chinese police force has transitioned into a force that primarily focuses on protecting the people, the police in China have become better known for their “get tough” policies on cutting down crime, where people claim they have been beaten or detained without trial (Dammer & Albanese, 2011, p....   [tags: Law, Criminal law, Crime, Police]

Better Essays
774 words (2.2 pages)

Role Of Trial By Jury Within The Criminal Justice System Essay

- Trial by jury was introduced into the British judicial system in 1215 via the Magna Carta; whereby it declared that “No freeman shall be seized, or imprisoned... excepting by the lawful judgement of his peers...” (Towl and Crighton, 2010, p. 228). June 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of this fundamental directive, which since adoption has remained a ‘jewel’ within the criminal justice system (CJS). It exists in many jurisdictions around the world to this day, although to different degrees and with countless alterations....   [tags: Jury, Common law, Jury trial, Law]

Better Essays
2140 words (6.1 pages)

Juvenile Justice And The Adult Justice System Essay

- Life 's too short and we only live life once, but what we do with our life is our own choice. There are many kids deciding to go the wrong way to living their short lives. Some kids become Juvenile criminals, and these crimes that these kids did goes to the Juvenile Justice, Department. Juvenile Justice Department makes up for different agencies that work with kids who did something bad with the law. The different agencies or police, court, detention, probation, and prosecutor. But if a kid commits a really bad crime or more than one crime....   [tags: Crime, Criminology, Criminal justice, Trial]

Better Essays
1541 words (4.4 pages)

Justice On Trial in Kafka's The Trial Essay

- Justice On Trial in Kafka's The Trial There is no such thing as justice - in or out of court.        Clarence Darrow i Most often critically interpreted as a search for Divine justice, Kafka's The Trial, a fragmented and unfinished novel, appears to leave us with the same impression as the words above of Clarence Darrow.  In other words, there is no justice.  This assessment of Divine justice by Kafka works on two levels.  On one level, he is illustrating the helpless nature of the individual when in conflict against an established bureaucracy.  On another level, he is illustrating the existential dilemma of man in the face of a godless, indifferent, and often hostile universe.  A search...   [tags: Kafka Trial Essays]

Better Essays
3824 words (10.9 pages)

History of the Juvenile Justice System Essay

- This paper will discuss the history of the juvenile justice system and how it has come to be what it is today. When a juvenile offender commits a crime and is sentenced to jail or reform school, the offender goes to a separate jail or reforming place than an adult. It hasn’t always been this way. Until the early 1800’s juveniles were tried just like everyone else. Today, that is not the case. This paper will explain the reforms that have taken place within the criminal justice system that developed the juvenile justice system....   [tags: Juvenile Justice System Development]

Better Essays
2654 words (7.6 pages)

The Trial Of The Jury System Essay

- The American Jury system had been used ever since we became a country. In fact the jury system originated from England a long time ago. The jury system is very controversial because it involves ordinary citizens making the verdict of criminal activities. Although we still use it, is it really necessary in today’s day and age. Obviously when someone is put on trial there needs to be a decision on whether they are guilty or not, but that’s why we also have a judge. Another way we can reach a verdict is through a bench trial where only the judge makes the decision....   [tags: Jury, Jury trial, United States Constitution]

Better Essays
1162 words (3.3 pages)

Totaltitarian Germany and The Trial by Franz Kafka Essay

- During Europe’s period of economic advancement, industrialization, and militia power Franz Kafka crafted a novel that perfectly exemplified what was to become of the country in the following years. Written by Kafka in 1914, The Trial contained numerous totalitarian representations, mocking the form of government in which the citizens are bound to the absolute rule of an autocratic authority. The book was not published and exposed to the world until the initial introduction of despotism in the late 1920s....   [tags: industralization, militia, power]

Better Essays
783 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on The US Trial System

- When one thinks of trials a lot of questions come to mind. What is a trial. What is involved in a trial. Who are the participants in a trial. Of all the participants how do they all contribute to the trial, what are their duties. What are the aspects of a trial and how do the aspects affect the fairness of the trial. How does our constitution contribute to a trial and how does it create fairness to the system. Within the body of this paper I will educate the reader on the trial system and answer any questions a person may have on the subject....   [tags: Criminal Justice]

Better Essays
923 words (2.6 pages)

Totalitarian Vs. Totalitarian Societies Essay

- ... In the beginning of policing law enforcement was usually done by volunteers, “17th century watch typically reported fires, maintained order in the streets, and raised the “hue and cry”.” This hue and cry was officers screaming while chasing a suspect to raise alarm about the criminal. Even today we still alert the streets of our presence with sound by a siren on our vehicles, sure we have evolved but it was the hue and cry that gave this idea light. Another invention was “wooden rattles and they used their distinct noise to signal for help, even into the 19th century”, then they changed to whistles to signal for help....   [tags: Police, Constable, Criminal justice, Crime]

Better Essays
1907 words (5.4 pages)

Justice And The Criminal Justice System Essay

- Madame Justice What is justice. This may seem like an easily answered question today’s society makes it quite the task. People throughout society have their own distinctive definition of justice. It is a word in which, to every person, has a different meaning. Although "Justice" has a massive list of meanings, it can somewhat be defined. Roughly, it can be defined as “the principal of fairness and the ideal of moral equity.” There are many places that justice is and is not practiced. These include the criminal justice system and everyday places like home or work....   [tags: Law, Crime, Justice, Criminal justice]

Better Essays
1001 words (2.9 pages)