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The Trial

The Trial

by Franz Kafka

Guide Mentor

Character Role Analysis

Titorelli

Titorelli is not an actual official in the court, but associated with it by virtue of being a court painter. This unofficial connection gives Titorelli just enough distance from the system to feel comfortable working on K.'s behalf and counseling K. on the options available to him within the court system. His description of the three possible options for the accused – acquittal, temporary acquittal, and postponement – is an enlightening, if depressing, exposé of the legal system.


The prison chaplain

The prison chaplain pops up at the cathedral to guide K. through the parable of the Law. He serves a priest-like function in demonstrating to K. the many possible, and not mutually exclusive, interpretations of the parable. But as the prison chaplain, he belongs to the court, and his discussion of the parable reveals a concern for maintaining the text as a closed system, ultimately inaccessible to would-be interpreters, that is consistent with the court's own tendency to close itself off from outsiders like K.


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