Study Guide

The Trial Genre

By Franz Kafka


Modernism, Dystopian Literature

Kafka is often considered one of the great Modernist writers, and The Trial falls squarely within typical Modernist concerns such as the shattering of consciousness, the decay of modern society, and complex narrative structures. Abrupt plot shifts along with the jarring, almost schizoid perspective of the main character contribute to the uniquely Modernist quality of the novel. The Trial is also one of the great works of twentieth century dystopian literature with its portrayal of a totalitarian society where an authority, in this case the court system, has unlimited power to persecute, detain, and ultimately to execute individuals.

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