The Trial

The Trial’s Account of Inevitable Failure and Death College

In The Trial, Franz Kafka tells the story of Joseph K., a man under persecution of the law. The novel begins with the arrest of K., which inducts him into a seemingly bizarre legal system. The arrest proves peculiar, as K. is never told what he is accused of and is not detained to a jail. In the following months, the case continues to reveal strange aspects of the bureaucracy that controls K.’s trial. For an entire year, K. is consumed by the trial and makes efforts to fight his case and obtain information about the legal system. Ultimately, the fight is ended through his execution with most questions left unanswered. This leaves one to wonder what Kafka intended The Trial to mean in a larger sense. One interpretation may suggest that Kafka conveys a message of the meaning of life, in that one does not exist. K.’s actions and experiences during the trial illustrate that life is meaningless and to continuously fight this idea and search for a substantial purpose is futile. Despite efforts to fight this conclusion, humans are all inevitably destined to failure. Accordingly, Kafka uses K.’s character to illustrate how one should not live, given this view.

A central aspect of The Trial is K.’s persistence and obsession regarding...

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