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The Trial

The Trial


by Franz Kafka

The Trial Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why is Josef K. on trial? What is his crime?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?

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