by Franz Kafka
The Trial Life, Consciousness, and Existence Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph). We used Breon Mitchell's translation.
How could he have just sat there, totally paralyzed by the mere decision to defend himself? (8.12)
As K. gets immersed in his trial, he is unable to follow his intentions through to a concrete action. He decides to defend himself, but he can't get around to actually defending himself. The novel ends without his submitting a single petition on his own behalf.
And now of all times, when he should be gathering all his strength to act, previously unknown doubts about his own judgment had to arise. Were the difficulties he was having carrying out his office work going to begin in his trial as well? (8.15)
K. continues to doubt himself as his trial progresses. The court has done such a thorough job of overturning everything he believes to be common sense that he doesn't know what to believe anymore.
K. wasn't so shocked at having found law court offices here; he was more shocked at himself, at his ignorance when it came to the court. It seemed to him a basic rule of behavior that the defendant should always be prepared, never be caught by surprise. (8.28)
It's telling that K. is more shocked at himself, rather than the court. The court has undermined his belief in himself, further aggravating his feelings of insecurity.