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The Trial

The Trial


by Franz Kafka

The Trial Power Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph). We used Breon Mitchell's translation.

Quote #4

One man, who was apparently in charge of the others and drew K.'s attention first, was got up in some sort of dark leather garment that left his neck and upper chest, as well as his entire arms, bare. (5.1)

Episodes of violence throughout the novel emphasize the essentially unjust nature of the state in which K. lives. This random episode, where a flogger punishes the guards who arrested K. in a rubbish closet in K.'s office building (!!!), looks ahead to the final scene in the novel where K. is executed at a random quarry outside of town.

Quote #5

Try to realize that this vast judicial organism remains, so to speak, in a state of eternal equilibrium, and that if you change something on your own where you are, you can cut the ground out from under your own feel and fall, while the vast organism easily compensates for the minor disturbance at some other spot – after all, everything is interconnected – and remains unchanged, if not, which is likely, even more resolute, more vigilant, more severe, more malicious. (7.2)

Like Quote #3, we have here another description of the court as a gigantic, closed system that exists to support itself rather than the needs of society. It is so terrifyingly efficient that no individual can hope to triumph over it.

Quote #6

K. must not overlook the fact that the proceedings are not public, they can be made public if the court considers it necessary, but the Law does not insist upon it. As a result, the court records, and above all the writ of indictment, are not available to the accused and his defense lawyers (7.2)

The court maintains its power by remaining secretive about its operations. And since it is accountable to no one except itself, it does not have to make its actions public.

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