Free Study Guide: The Trial by Franz Kafka - Synopsis / Analysis|
Downloadable / Printable Version
THE TRIAL: FREE LITERARY CRITICISM / LITERARY ELEMENTS
Dostoevsky it delineates the soul in the form of philosophic fiction. It has allegories, satire, parables and commentary. There are references to nature as the background. Robing and disrobing, when K. is arrested and after he meets Titorelli and again when the executors fetch him are very significant. His material and spiritual existence are implied in the change of clothes. The dog is a recurring metaphor where it symbolizes submission to faith at the spiritual level. The exquisite description of the chapel is another mark of Kafka's style. Change of rooms and of furniture mark important phases in K.'s life. He is arrested in Fräulein Bürstner's room. The rooms return to their original state after the whipper and the wardens disappear. This is also allegory emphasizing K.'s guilt.
K. also symbolizes the reader's response. The voyeuristic reader is like the neighbors in the framed windows like an impressionist painting looking at K.'s room. Illusion is also used as an effective technique. K. prejudges the court and its officials. The whipping scene could also be an illusion. To return to the framed window, the framing metaphor leads to the "framing" of K. as the accused, who is in fact the author. K. walked the busy streets in his office through with the manufacturer, seeing life pass by. He sits by the chair near the window when he is arrested.
Curiously naming is a device used. Franz, the warder and K. both stand for Kafka's name. Franz awaiting his finance could be like Kafka's breakup with his fiancée. Dizziness and breathlessness are used to show his confusion in the courtroom and in the painter's place spatial metaphor is used in the maze of courtrooms showing that the trial is complicated. The court even rents out rooms making money.
Deceiving as a metaphor is seen when the doorkeeper in the parable is a slave and the private man a free person.
Huld symbolizes familial authority and divine with which K.'s uncle believes in. But K.'s refusal to give in symbolizes the modern man. Superstition used effectively also when the audience guesses who is guilty by looking at the accused. The court looms large finally as a ubiquitous metaphor dominating the interests of K. and the reader as a theatre where action or non-action is played out.
K.'s observation reveals very clearly that the injustice meted out at every stage of the trial. K. has deep sympathy for the officials and even empathizes with the officials caught in the judicial rut and muddle K. is the narrator commenting on the judicial system as well as the character undergoing the painful experience. The lawyers are humane, jovial and amiable. But they could easily get upset with arrogant behavior. As the novel moves closer to the climax K. loses more and more confidence. Height is a metaphor when K. raises himself to match the manufacturer and the Assistant Manager in their heights. It gives him a sense of control. The Assistant Manager's appearance is like a scepter, again a metaphor hiding his feelings. K. is likewise masking his appearance. He is civil and follows the formalities of courtesy without any genuine feeling. The bottom line is that K.'s career is affected. He is civil and follows the formalities of courtesy without any genuine felling.
The story reveals the painter's deep legal expertise and acumen about the court. The fear of re-arrest, hanging over the accused head is described in spatial terms. It is a spatial swing between being condemned and being free oscillating between death and freedom living a full life as it he is at the point of orbit close to earth and swinging away from it, losing gravity.
K.'s attitude towards life is exemplified in the position he holds in the bank. His career, his business pursuits, his aims follow the set pattern of professional modern living and also of his whole being. This formality has now been disrupted by the trial. His relations with he Manager and the Assistant Manager are most revealing. The Assistant Manager is also the acting-Manager when K. pursuer his case. He is K.'s competitor in the Bank. There is a hidden rivalry between the two. K. struggles to survive in his official post with his self-preservation instincts. The trial brings to the fore his straggle and weakens him in this rat race. The schism in existence, bringing about his down fall is completely and cruelly exposed. His fall is likened to the fall of man at the metaphorical level. He does not stop himself from bribing the painter or attempting short at routes to escape the condemnation. ‘The Trial’ here is also the consciousness of the empty shell and futility of everybody, selfish individual existence, scraping for any means to survive socially and economically.
While K. is rooted in ordinary existence he is fighting the courts against a timeless, immeasurable background. He does not want to acknowledge the new significance. On his thirteenth birthday, the threshold of middle age, his fundamental existence has validity. He is now faced with a deep disappointment, a sudden fear throwing his fragmented existence out of control. The "something" that threatens is the court. The individual's consciousness of reality is relaxed has lost its grip on appearance with the threatening description of the court. The world seems to be broken into fragments, the courts, individual lives; women lead their own lives. There is no convergence of interests and attitudes. Bleak and dreary, out of these fragments, the new reality, which emerges, is unfamiliar and threatening intruding on the ego in new forms. K.'s ego seems to be driven against the wall, surrounded by something stronger than it is.
The novel does not dwell in consciousness of divinity, but from an unrest which is ever present written the worlds limits. Death seems to be incomprehensible and life seems to be relentlessly set opposed to it, for K. is still in the process of fighting any accusation or condemnation against the court, which is the monolith. The court does not represent wholly God's claim on man. This is the meaning within it at the symbolic level. It is through K.'s behavior, his painful anxiety and his conflict, his fears and his frivolous existence that we come to know about it. In the person of the advocate it is seem whether it is right to justify the self on an intellectual place while the levels of eventuality or Destiny guide the course of the trial.
It is difficult to conduct like through the spirit as well. Through the advocate
the human spirit seems to be ambiguous though it is a genuine guidance
for living. The high office that he holds dictates a moralistic code of
All Content Copyright©TheBestNotes. All Rights Reserved.
No further distribution without written consent.
144 Users Online | This page has been viewed 34058 times
This page was last updated on 5/15/2008 3:58:03 PM
Cite this page:
TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on The Trial".
. 15 May 2008