The Trial

Characters

Josef K. – The tale's protagonist.

Fräulein Bürstner – A boarder in the same house as Josef K. She lets him kiss her one night, but then rebuffs his advances. K. briefly catches sight of her, or someone who looks similar to her, in the final pages of the novel.

Fräulein Montag – Friend of Fräulein Bürstner, she talks to K. about ending his relationship with Fräulein Bürstner after his arrest. She claims she can bring him insight, because she is an objective third party.

Willem and Franz – Officers who arrest K. one morning but refuse to disclose the crime he is said to have committed.

Inspector – Man who conducts a proceeding at Joseph K.'s boardinghouse to inform K. officially that he is under arrest.

Rabinsteiner, Kullich and Kaminer – Junior bank employees who attend the proceeding at the boardinghouse.

Frau Grubach – The proprietress of the lodging house in which K. lives. She holds K. in high esteem, despite his arrest.

Woman in the Court – In her house happens the first judgment of K. She claims help from K. because she doesn't want to be abused by the magistrates.

Student – Deformed man who acts under orders of the instruction judge. Will be a powerful man in the future.

Instruction Judge – First Judge of K. In his trial, he confuses K. with a Wall Painter.

Uncle Karl – K.'s impetuous uncle from the country, formerly his guardian. Upon learning about the trial, Karl insists that K. hire Herr Huld, the lawyer.

Herr Huld, the Lawyer – K.'s pompous and pretentious advocate who provides precious little in the way of action and far too much in the way of anecdote.

Leni – Herr Huld's nurse, she has feelings for Josef K. and soon becomes his lover. She shows him her webbed hand, yet another reference to the motif of the hand throughout the book. Apparently, she finds accused men extremely attractive—the fact of their indictment makes them irresistible to her.

Albert – Office director at the court and a friend of Huld.

Flogger – Man who punishes Franz and Willem in the Bank after K's. complaints against the two agents in his first Judgement.

Vice-President – K.'s unctuous rival at the Bank, only too willing to catch K. in a compromising situation. He repeatedly takes advantage of K.'s preoccupation with the trial to advance his own ambitions.

President – Manager of the Bank. A sickly figure, whose position the Vice-President is trying to assume. Gets on well with K., inviting him to various engagements.

Rudi Block, the Merchant – Block is another accused man and client of Huld. His case is five years old, and he is but a shadow of the prosperous grain dealer he once was. All his time, energy, and resources are now devoted to his case, to the point of detriment to his own life. Although he has hired five additional lawyers on the side, he is completely and pathetically subservient to Huld.

Manufacturer – Person who hears about K.'s case and advises him to see a painter who knows how the court system works.

Titorelli, the Painter – Titorelli inherited the position of Court Painter from his father. He knows a great deal about the comings and goings of the Court's lowest level. He offers to help K., and manages to unload a few identical landscape paintings on the accused man.

Priest – Prison chaplain whom K. encounters in a church. The priest advises K. that his case is going badly and tells him to accept his fate.

Doorkeeper and Farmer – The characters of the Chaplain's Tale.


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