Free Study Guide: The Trial by Franz Kafka - Synopsis / Analysis|
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THE TRIAL: STUDY GUIDE / PLOT SYNOPSIS
K. notices that these men are wearing badges which belong to the right
or left parties. Everyone is an official. He is so angry that he threatens
to strike an old man. The magistrate observes that he is throwing away
the chance of acquittal by rushing out, by running away from the interrogation.
The audience buzzes round with comments and analysis as he rushes out.
K. is a right-minded citizen firmly believing in himself and his actions. The court attacks his unshakable faith in his right mindedness. The maze of courtrooms is a metaphor. The court is replete with its symbols and strange scenes basing itself on the assumption that man is an erring being. The fact that an ordinary man like K. is put to trial shows that the ego is hit and hurt depriving it of its power. The court has so much power over an ordinary individual that it stirs unrest within K. He does not know where he has failed. His "bad conscience" frequently drives him to seek justice. There is no specific failure that is obvious.
From his bourgeois point of view K. is innocent. K. is cast into the mould of a bachelor who is egocentric and also a right-minded citizen. But his innocence and his self-righteousness is attacked by the court. The consciousness of the "Court" is
the sudden fear, which threatens his fragmentary experience. The officers of the court are corrupt and cannot be subjected
to the rules, which govern life, which the successful man thinks he has mastered. Here it is not just public justice. But it
stimulates the spiritual urges in K. himself. The persecution by the court affects K.'s conditions. His career, his businesses
like pursuits channelize the direction that his professional life takes. The court is meant to establish order in society. But it
does not represent God's claim on man. It is only from K.'s behavior, his anxiety and fears, that we realize it. In spite of
K.'s protests there is a certain wakeful listening which lends meaning to K.'s actions. K. realizes that the audience partly comprises of court officials that it could be rigged. But the men are also old and experienced. K. rashly insults them around and walks out.
The description of the court is the sole threat affecting the individualsí consciousness of reality. K. is dazed by its dubious appearance, strangeness of meaning and its actual aims. The staircases and passages that leads K. to court are stupefying, the perplexing crossroads metaphorically affect human life. The courtrooms have a musty smell, housed in dingy attics. There is no solution found for the cases tried there. The court is further a threat to K.'s the human being's ego pushed into empty space and dominated by something stronger.
The court has strange scenes and symbols. Man has somewhere lost his way in his unshakable destiny and has no link
with the absolute or the divine and its standards. The picture of the human soul is distorted in this world as seen through
K.'s consciousness. This points one to the idea of a divine guidance and divine justice, a spiritual force which could be irrational like the sense of guilt or a power like one's conscience.
The strangeness of the junior clerk is part to the outer world. They have
no semblance of justice and acquire a democratic character in K.'s soul.
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. 09 May 2017