Analysis of Kafka’s Trial

Franz Kafka has been one of the most enigmatic writers of the modern period. His writings betray angst, queasiness, torment and suffering. He was a Jew in exile and as an evolving writer, he was confronted by existential guilt with his religious beliefs and also he had a stormy relationship with his father. One becomes uneasy when one pours over his texts.
The trial exemplifies a corrupt and autocratic bureaucracy. Probably Kafka through the trial is attempting to portray the despotic and demeaning rule of the Nazi regime. One can’t praise the literary quality of the work as being meritorious. But at the same time, the work is not mediocre.
In the Trial an innocent man K gets condemned for having done no crime. When confronted at t his home, he produces his identity papers and asks the guards why he is condemned of felony? They answer brusquely that it is none of his business. Then K asks them if he is going to be arrested. They reply ‘no’. He is free to carry on his daily duties. They only tell him that he has to face a court trial. K asks them for an identity and they offer none. The novel gets very confusing as those people are not represented by the government and yet they have the right to condemn an innocent person.
K’s trial is even more baffling as it takes place in an attic. They ask him trivial questions like where does he stay, what is the nature of his work, how old he is. The trial is marked by monotonous questioning. One fine day they drag K out of his apartment and slit his throat.
Kafka’s trial portrays an inhuman bureaucratic system that has little concern for human feelings or their life. There is no philosophical explanation as to why K suffers this torture. Is the novel—the Trial an outcome of the feelings of guilt that Kafka had towards his tyrannical father? Kafka was a sensitive soul. Being in exile, being a part of the Jewish Diaspora is not a pleasant one. Is the trial a portrayal of the horrors of Nazi rule? The men who persecuted Kafka can be compared to the Nazi Gestapo or the USSR KGB. It’s puzzling as to why that would want to condemn an innocent life? Is Kafka venting out his own angst. There are scholars who feel that the Trial is an unfinished work. One can sympathize with the character K. The agony and suffering that K endured is so similar to the victims of the holocaust. The Trial is a political allegory. One can’t praise the work too highly for its aesthetics. But still K’s feeling attains peaks of the lyrical and the sublime. One undergoes a catharsis when one reads the Trial. Is Kafka rebelling against his authoritarian father? The novel can be regarded as modernist work of art. I admire Kafka’s instincts to be a writer. I feel contented to have read the work of a great writer.

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