by Franz Kafka
The Trial Isolation Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph). We used Breon Mitchell's translation.
While his trial rolled on, while the officials of the court were up there in the attic going over the trial documents, he was supposed to conduct bank business? Didn't that seem like a form of torture, sanctioned by the court, a part of the trial itself, accompanying it? (7.13)
The court's means include psychological torture, as well as the physical torture that K. witnesses in the scene with the flogger in Chapter 5.
One such superstition, for example, is that many people believe they can predict the outcome of the trial from the face of the defendant, and in particular from the lines of his lips. Now these people claimed that according to your lips, you were certain to be convicted soon. (8.4)
This superstition that Block relates to K. emphasizes K.'s isolation and certainly contributes to K.'s feelings of dread and paranoia. Even though it's merely a superstition, K. doesn't know what to believe or disbelieve because the court keeps overturning everything he takes to be common sense.
"Don't go into shock at every word […] You should be ashamed here in front of my client! […] It's senseless anxiety!" (8.10)
Huld's comments to Block here are ironic. He's yelling at a terrified man not to be terrified – sure, that'll help. Block's terror is the flip side of K.'s indifference: Block is terrified because he knows too much about the court, while K. isn't because he knows too little.