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The Trial

The Trial


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.

Quote #1

The unexpected question, however, confused the man, which was even more embarrassing since he was obviously a man of the world, who would certainly have retained his self-confidence elsewhere, and did not easily relinquish the superiority he had attained over so many others. (4.7)

The defendant that K. encounters in his first tour through the court offices is a taste of what will come for K. Just as the defendant seems easily confused, K. will also lose his powers of reasoning as the novel progresses.

Quote #2

As he passed by the junk room again on his way home, he opened the door as if by habit. What he saw, in place of the expected darkness, bewildered him completely. (5.3)

The Trial is filled with these absurd episodes. A flogging – in a file closet? Absurd! It's the kind of thing that makes you laugh, but then makes you feel really guilty for laughing because it's so awful.

Quote #3

But instead of working, he […] without being aware of it, left his arm outstretched on the desktop and remained sitting motionless with bowed head.

The thought of his trial never left him now. (6.1-2)

Just like the defendant in Quote #1, K. can't concentrate or do his job effectively. His obsession with the trial keeps distracting him from the task at hand.

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