The Trial by Franz Kafka Essay

The Trial by Franz Kafka Essay

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In the story The Trial by Franz Kafka, Joseph K is the main character of the story who is arrested for no apparent reason. The story tells the process of his trial for a crime that he is unaware of committing. Joseph K is a man of arrogance, and he considers himself to be of extreme importance; it isn’t until he is arrested and the people of true authority challenge his idea of his own standing in the world. His feeling of importance soon diminishes as he succumbs to the process of the trial, even though he questions the validity of his arrest throughout the story. There are two clear struggles that are presented throughout this story: a power struggle between Joseph K and the authorities, as well as a social class struggle. Within these struggles discussed, the question of the real crime that is committed is raised.
Power struggle of initial arrest in the beginning
The initial arrest of Joseph K happens out of the blue one day on his birthday when two guards inform him that he is being arrested. His initial reaction is to question why he is being arrested. He racks his brain trying to figure out what crime he might have committed. The first sign of the power struggle is in the first chapter when K tries to present his identification papers and then asks to see a warrant for arrest. The officer laughs at him, saying, “In a position like yours, and you think you can start giving orders, do you? It won’t do you any good to get us on the wrong side...” (Kafka, 7). While K has every right to ask for a reason of arrest, this is where he initially struggles. The officers although seem laid back and almost friendly at some points, they still talk down to him.
At one point K thinks to himself that the guards are just stu...

... middle of paper ...

...omic class in society. When displaying these struggles through the course of the story, the question of what the true crime that Joseph K committed is brought to the attention of the readers, even within the first few pages. From the analysis of these struggles and looking deeper into the question of the crime, one can come to the conclusion that maybe the Invisible Law is a law of morality within the social classes and the complete disregard for other people.

Works Cited

Brown, Russell E. "Kafka's THE TRIAL." Explicator 46.4 (1988): 26. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Apr. 2014.
Kafka, Franz. The Trial. Trans. David Wyllie., 1925.

Mellen, Joan. "Joseph K. and the Law." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 12.2 (1970): 295-302.
Spiro, Solomon J. "Verdict -- Guilty! A Study of "The Trial"." Twentieth Century Literature 17.3 (1971): 169-179.

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