© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Trial

The Trial


by Franz Kafka

The Trial Society and Class Quotes

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

Quote #4

for a defendant it was reassuring to imagine what limited funds this court must have at its disposal if its offices were located where tenants who were themselves among the poorest of the poor tossed their useless trash. (4.4)

The court's humble surroundings obscure its true power over the individual. The court seeks to reduce everyone to the same level, to take an ambitious career man like K. and reduce him to an ordinary person, like Frau Gruber, his landlady, for example (see Quote #1).

Quote #5

All of them were carelessly dressed, in spite of the fact that most, to judge by their expression, their posture, the style of their beards, and numerous other small details difficult to pin down, belonged to the upper classes […] They never straightened entirely; backs bowed and knees bent, they stood like beggars in the street. (4.7)

These defendants are just a taste of the future that K. can expect. Members of the upper classes like himself, they have been physically reduced to "beggars" during the long course of their trials.

Quote #6

K. […] was too embarrassed that this sudden weakness had put him at these people's mercy. (4.10)

K.'s brash defiance of the court, as at the end of Chapter 2 for example, actually masks his insecurity, as shown here in this quote.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...