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 guards who arrest him wear no uniform nor do they deign to offer any identification, and his interrogation, such as it is, takes place in some random young woman's bedroom. K.'s almost laughable arrest masks the very serious consequences the trial will have on his life and career.
K. charges into his first courtroom appearance full of indignation, and why not? No one's told him why he's been arrested or on what evidence. The court itself is hard to take seriously because it's stuck in an attic in a rundown apartment complex. While his speech seems to entertain the audience, the examining magistrate informs him that he's irreparably damaged his case.
When K. arrives back at the court, he grabs at a chance to take a tour of the court offices. While its dilapidated facilities fail to impress him, the humble condition of the defendants who await there, many of whom were once prosperous men like himself, provide an ominous glimpse of what's to come – a lifetime of humiliation and harassment by the court.
The climax of the novel is really more of an anti-climax. Normally, we would expect some kind of peak in the action – say, some definite movement in K.'s trial. And Kafka seems to give us our climax when K hires Huld, who seems to be a very well-connected lawyer. But as K. discovers to his dismay, Huld really can't get anything done. He's full of empty promises and excuses.
The suspense stage of The Trial is, ironically, all about staying in suspense, rather than getting out of it. Titorelli, a painter of all things, tells K. that since acquittal is virtually unheard of, all K. can really hope for is a temporary acquittal – where he's held innocent for now, but could be arrested again at any time – or a protraction, where the trial is infinitely delayed through various legal strategies.
In keeping with the novel's general trend of leaving everything unresolved, the prison chaplain tells K. a parable about the Law that really mystifies more than clarifies K.'s situation. Like Huld and Titorelli, the prison chaplain seems to know a lot about the court and its workings, but can offer little practical help to K.
Given the way the novel emphasizes the endlessness of K.'s trial, the conclusion is rather sudden and seems to come out of nowhere. It defies our expectation of what a verdict usually entails – a courtroom, with a judge handing down his decision and prescribing some form of punishment, usually meted out in a prison. Instead, a couple of well-dressed men take K. out to a quarry and stab him.