The Trial Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- Why is Josef K. on trial? What is his crime?
- Was K.'s execution inevitable? Other defendants such as Block seem to have such long, protracted trials; K.'s trial only lasts a year. Did K. do anything to accelerate his trial? Was there anything he could have done to prevent his execution?
- Kafka felt the parable of the Law in Chapter 9 deserved to be published on its own, and it was, as a separate short story. What does the parable of the Law mean to you? How would The Trial be different if it did not contain the parable of the Law?
- Kafka's The Trial is often cited as a political allegory. What are some totalitarian governments in history that bear similarities to the court system in The Trial? What about democratic ones? Do you think that Kafka's novel is a critique of just totalitarian governments, or does the novel critique governments in general – do all governments abuse power? Is there such a thing as a just political system?