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The Trial

The Trial

by Franz Kafka

The Trial Analysis

Literary Devices in The Trial

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Kafka's The Trial has often been read as a religious allegory, even though the novel itself seems to eschew specific religious references. This is perhaps most notable in Chapter 9, which should be...

Setting

Kafka's The Trial is not situated in a specific city or a specific historical moment, but the features of this city are relatively modern. The action of the story begins at K.'s lodging house, then...

Narrator Point of View

In Kafka's novel, we've got an omniscient narrator who seems to spend most of his time perched in Josef K.'s head. The narrative is so loyal to K.'s point of view that it doesn't smooth over all of...

Genre

Kafka is often considered one of the great Modernist writers, and The Trial falls squarely within typical Modernist concerns such as the shattering of consciousness, the decay of modern society, an...

Tone

Nothing and no one is safe from the novel's ironic tone, which casts a satiric eye on everything the main character does and the ludicrous machinations of the system in which he is entrapped. For e...

Writing Style

We've stuck a "quasi" in front of "philosophical" to describe Kafka's style here, because while The Trial certainly has many extended monologues that sound awfully smart, they aren't actually very...

What's Up With the Title?

At first, the relevance of the title seems obvious. The Trial refers to the main character's trial, right? But when you read the novel, you may notice that…there's no actual trial in the book...

What's Up With the Ending?

Kafka's Trial ends suddenly with a very brief chapter entitled "The End." After all of the bureaucratic delays, amorous digressions, and lectures on law and art, Josef K. is summarily executed on h...

Tough-o-Meter

Kafka's The Trial challenges its readers with some really big questions about justice, violence, and authority. But it does so through a relatively accessible story about a man who is unjustly pers...

Plot Analysis

K. awakes one morning to discover that he's been arrested.K.'s arrest is unexpected and unusual, defying every expectation as to what an arrest should be like. He isn't taken into prison, the guard...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Josef K., a successful banker, is rudely woken up one morning to discover that he's been arrested.Everything seems to going well for Josef K. He's an up-and-coming executive at his bank, and seems...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Josef K. wakes up one morning to find that he's been arrested on a mysterious charge.The court proceedings do not go well for K., and, with no positive outcome in sight, K.'s professional and perso...

Trivia

Kafka's relationship with women was conflicted to say the least. He sought to remain pure but couldn't resist the occasional brothel visit. His relationships with Felice Bauer, Grete Bloch, and Dor...

Steaminess Rating

Women throw themselves at K. in the novel, and K. doesn't seem to have any problem romping with them even as his own court case goes downhill. Suggestions of sexual deviance pop up throughout the n...
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