The Trial by Kafka
Author Franz Kafka was born in 1883 to Jewish parents. Kafka attended law school and earned a doctorate degree. While in law school he spent time with German speaking writers. He met one of his best friends, Max Brod, at this time.
Even though Kafka was a talented writer, he did not want to write as a career. He worked as a law clerk; he worked at a private insurance company, and then a functionary for the Workmen’s Accident Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia until 1922. When he was 41, Kafka contacted tuberculosis and died. Most of his writing was published after his death. The Trial was one of several of his writings that were not finished when he died. The Trial, written between 1914-1915, was published in 1925.
The story begins with Joseph K., who is a bank official being arrested for a crime he did not commit. No one will Joseph what he crime has been committed. He is released, but told that his case is not over. The rest of the novel tells the story of the year after his arrest. Joseph is allowed to speak before the Magistrate and a crowd and it does not go well for him. The majority of the story details Josephs struggle against a legal system that is corrupt.
Exactly one year following Joseph’s initial arrest, two men come for him again. At first Joseph decides to go with the men peacefully, but once the group of three make it to a public square Joseph decides to try to break free from the men. He is unable to escape and the three men continue walking to a deserted quarry. Joseph is stripped and stabbed in the heart by one of the men.