Book Report: The Trial by Franz Kafka Essay

            Franz Kafka’s novel entitled “The Trial” is a depiction of immorality and unjust action of the society against people like Josef K. Josef K. is the protagonist in the story. The book describes the struggle of the protagonist as he conquers and faces the tragic situation of his life. The author also discusses the situation of society and its justice system. By reading this book, the readers would be able to identify the ironies and metaphors of human behavior towards the issue of justice and social transformation.

The story of Kafka is simple but full of mystery in the case of the main character.

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He is accused without any proof or evidence of his unlawful action. He himself wants to know his offense but he could not provide this thing because he does not know where to start and what he has done to be accused and arrested. From this case, the context of justice system can be described in a rational formation based on the evidences of the text as well as the scenarios of the main character.

            Josef K as the main character is a depiction of social reality. He is part of the middle class who arrested from a frame up. The authority who arrests him could not justify their reasons why they seize Josef K. However, the protagonist obtains true reactions and actions coming from a person who is being arrested without proper grounds. He searches for the reason of his capture and soon realizes that life is not always fair. “The light made its way in through them, and it was also possible to see individual officials through them as they sat writing at their desks or stood up at the wooden frameworks and watched the people on the corridor through the gaps (Kafka 31).” This part of the novel shows the idea of prosecution and search for justice into the hands of immoral authority. The author discusses the fact that each society is not perfect, there are some part of the government system are overpowering the people to be able to maintain their authority within the whole country.

            The whole book defines the reality of physical, emotional, and political issues in the society. “‘As his eyesight failed, K. saw the two gentlemen cheek by cheek, close in front of his face, watching the result. “Like a dog!” he said, it was as if the shame of it should outlive him (Kafka, 111).” In the end of the novel, the main character died without seeing the main reason of his arrest. The two ‘executors’ want to see Josef K. to kill himself. When he could not kill himself, the two executors kill him immediately. Before he died, Josef K. perceives his life like a dog because of his struggle to find his justice. As the story ends, he could not find his own justice and yet, he died without recognizing the truth against his prosecution.

            In conclusion to this, it can be said that the whole book shows complex story. The whole narrative could not actually provide a main plot due the complication of the concept. However, the main issue that the author discusses in the book is to justify the fact that social justice is a problem that we continue to disregard. Because we have the concept of justice system, we already depend on it. The conflict is that the people behind this justice system overrule the whole society in an illogical action. The manifestation of this exploitation is the suffering of the lower and middle class people. Because the authority usually cover up this issue, the society is not safe as opposed to the true idea of social justice because they are not protected by the authority – sometimes they are the reason of irrational depiction of integrity.


Kafka, F. (2005). “The Trial.” Project Gutenberg. (MS Rich Text Format). 3 December 2008.

Cite this Book Report: The Trial by Franz Kafka Essay

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