Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 8 years ago

How does the parable delivered by the priest in "The Trial" relate to K?

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The novel begins with the arrest of K. For no reason. At

    first, K. tries ignoring it and tries to continue with his

    everyday life. When K. finds out that being arrested does

    not affect his everyday life he replies "Then being

    arrested is not so very bad" (Kafka. The Trial. 16).

    However K.'s uncle later tells him: "think of your

    relatives, think of our good name" (Kafka 102). This tells

    him that because of a false accusation his family will

    undergo hardships.

    One interpretation of " The Trial", according to Solomon J.

    Spiro in Twentieth Century Literature, is that it is a

    psychological book which deals with guilt. After all, Kafka

    was a contemporary of Sigmund Freud, the famous

    psychologist. Freud called guilt "the most important

    problem in the history of evolution" (Spiro. "Verdict -

    Guilty! A Study of The Trial". 170). Kafka, who had

    formerly been a lawyer, decided to deal with this issue in

    a setting with which he was familiar; the court. The court

    is perfect for this topic because a judge determines the

    guilt or innocence of a person. According to this opinion

    the novel is about what happens in one's mind.

    The second manner of dealing with the court is

    psycho-analysis. An intense attachment to religion is

    usually a prelude to psycho-analysis. Psycho-analysis is

    the following of a person's history in sequential order to

    find out that person's peace of mind. Huld, the lawyer, is

    the psychiatrist according to this approach. Huld, in

    German, means grace. This is quite close to "Freud" in

    German- delight. Huld's constant illness, which is due to

    his constant work for his clients, is like a psychiatrist's

    counter-transference, or the analyst's own suffering due to

    his involvement in the treatment of his patient. Freud has

    held that sexual instinct is an essential element to guilt.

    Leni, Huld's nurse, has animal-like qualities which suggest

    the personification of sexual instinct. A basic complaint

    about psycho-analysis is that it makes everyone

    self-conscious about the motivation of their actions. When

    K. tells Huld that he will no longer represent him in

    court, K. Says:

    One would naturally have expected the case to weigh even

    less on my conscious after that, since after all one

    engages a lawyer to shift the burden a little onto his

    shoulders. But the very opposite of that resulted. I was

    never so much plagued by my case as I have been since I

    have engaged you to represent me (Spiro 177,178).

    The third approach in which a person tries to relieve

    himself of his guilt is through art. Originally, Kafka may

    have considered this the ultimate solution, but then

    changed his mind. A deleted section from an unfinished

    chapter does contain elements of a solution. However, the

    painter chapter conveys a sense of ugliness. Titorelli, the

    painter, gives K. the most extensive description of the

    court, but the emptiness of the "heathscapes" implies that

    there is no way to escape the burden of guilt. Art can

    describe the problem, but not solve it

    The story takes place in Germany, the country that led the

    attack on Jews during the Holocaust. K., the victim, is a

    wealthy banker. This occupation was reputed to be one that

    many Jews had held. The court would then be the

    anti-Semites attacking the Jews for no apparent reason. In

    the Middle Ages, people would try to isolate the Jews in an

    attempt to convert them to Christianity. If the Jews did

    not comply and convert they were often killed. These steps

    are all followed by the court in The Trial.

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