Approach Paper on Franz Kafka's "The Trial"

Essay by onefasthondaHigh School, 12th gradeA, May 2006

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Franz Kafka's chilling novel, "The Trial", is the story of a man named Joseph K., who is accused of a crime that he neither committed nor knows which crime. He wakes up on the morning of his thirtieth birthday expecting his breakfast to be brought to him, and instead gets two policemen knocking at his door telling him he is under arrest. At first Joseph thinks this is some sort of practical joke from an employee at the Bank, where he works, and dismisses it lightly, but after several minutes of degradation and annoyance by the policemen, he is convinced it is real. He protests and asks to speak with their manager, the inspector, whom he meets shortly thereafter. The inspector tells Joseph that he has committed a horrendous crime, but refuses to say anything more. As Joseph is prepared to be taken into custody, the inspector tells him that there will be no arrest, and that Joseph is to continue his life normally.

Confused, Joseph asks why he's not to be arrested, and the inspector dismissed this question and leaves. Perplexed and somewhat angry, Joseph heads off to work with thousands of questions running through his mind.

Throughout the next couple days, Joseph talks with his landlady and friends to see if they be of any assistance in the matter, but they are unable to give him any consul. One day at work, he receives a telephone call that he is to show up at court that Sunday for the first hearing of his Trial. Upon his arrival, he notices the courtroom is filled with a large audience of important-looking men. Joseph describes his case to the men and tells of how unfair and ridiculous the whole thing is and makes a hasty exit shortly after. The next...