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The Trial

The Trial

by Franz Kafka

Leni

Character Analysis

Leni, another of K.'s women, is Huld's nurse, and perhaps even his mistress. Unlike Fraülein Bürstner, Leni's attraction for K. is hard to pin down. She's presented to us as almost a child, with a disfigurement – a webbed hand – that K. calls a "claw." The scene where they gaze on a photograph of K.'s beautiful mistress together suggests Leni's inappropriateness as a love match for K. And yet she seems to both attract and seduce K., so much so that he's willing to ignore his trial. As the prison chaplain says, K. is foolhardy to seek so much help from the women of the court. K.'s dalliance with Leni seems to further highlight his mental deterioration as the trial progresses.

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