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The Trial

The Trial


by Franz Kafka

The Trial Chapter 6 Summary

The Uncle / Leni

  • K. is at work one day when his uncle Karl comes in from the country for a visit. Uncle Karl has been informed by his daughter, Erna, that K. is being investigated; Karl is utterly dismayed. In fact, he's even more dismayed that K. seems so nonchalant about it all. K. decides to leave the bank with his uncle so that the rest of the bank workers can't overhear their conversation.
  • Uncle Karl insists that K. has to visit his friend Huld, a famous defense lawyer known for defending the poor, which K. doesn't find compelling because he's the chief financial officer of a bank. But he goes along with his uncle to Huld's anyway.
  • At Huld's, a young woman lead K. and his uncle to the bedroom, where Huld is taken to bed with a heart problem.
  • At this point, K.'s uncle is now inexplicably called Albert. So Uncle Albert (a.k.a. Karl) asks the nurse to leave, but Huld insists that the nurse, whose name we find out is Leni, can stay. Uncle Albert insists, and explains that K. has a matter to discuss. Huld tells Leni to leave the room.
  • K. is surprised to find that Huld already knows about his case and is willing to take him on as a client. Huld explains that it's his contacts in the courts that make him such a valuable advocate. In fact, one of his contacts is sitting in the room right now.
  • Out of a dark corner emerges another old guy, the Chief Clerk of the court no less. As the Chief Clerk, Huld, and his uncle chat it up, K. loses track of the conversation until their conversation is interrupted by a large crash. K. says he'll go out to see what the ruckus is about.
  • To his surprise, Leni places her hand on his, and escorts him to the lawyer's study, where she promptly throws herself at him. K. notices a painting of a judge on the wall; the judge is seated on a grand throne, and looks as if he's about to jump out of the painting at the defendant, who is not pictured but is supposedly located at the bottom of the steps…where the viewer of the painting is.
  • The nurse claims she wants to help him, and K. readily accepts. The nurse then tells K. that his only chance is to confess. K. refuses to, then pulls her up on his lap.
  • Leni asks K. if he's taken, and he shows her a photograph of his mistress Elsa in the middle of a dance. This doesn't seem to faze the aggressive Leni, who shows off her curious hand, which has webbing between the second and third fingers. K. plays around with her hand then kisses it, which excites Leni to the point where she falls off his lap onto the floor. K. crawls on top of her…and the narrative discreetly skips ahead to the part where Leni offers him a key to the apartment and shows him out the door.
  • In front of the apartment building, K. is ambushed by his uncle, who rails at him for messing up his case just as his uncle, Huld, and the Chief Clerk were trying to work something out for him.

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