Teacher Guide

The Trial Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Trial

Franz Kafka's 1925 novel The Trial is about Josef K., a banker who is prosecuted by a court he has never heard of for a crime that is never revealed. Although K. attempts to fight the illogical accusation, the perplexing legal system steadily wears him down. The novel ends with K.'s abrupt execution: two men hired by the court twist a knife into K.'s heart. Published one year after Kafka's death, The Trial is one of Kafka's best-known and most characteristic works, as it is emblematic of the author's signature narrative premise of a solitary man futilely trying to find his way out of an absurd, nightmarish, and darkly comic predicament.

Written between 1914 and 1915, the manuscript...

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