Irrational Law and “Injustice”: A Study of Kafka’s ‘The Trial’

Trisha Prasad
Symbiosis Law School Hyderabad, India.

Volume III – Issue II, 2021

“Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested. ” A trial is the process of ascertaining the truth of an offence committed by an accused person based on the facts and evidences of the case. The process usually takes place after an investigation is done and the accused person is arrested or taken into custody. Every trial is expected to be carried out in a manner that is fair as well as legally and morally justifiable. In order to ensure this, it is necessary for the authorities to carry out the investigation, arrest and final trial in a manner that keeps the person’s rights and basic dignity intact. It is also necessary to inform the person of these rights as well as the grounds on which they have been arrested and tried. The arrest too should follow certain basic protocols including restrictions on movement and continuous supervision while not violating the basic rights and duties. The Trial by Franz Kafka is a novel that follows the story of the protagonist, Josef K, a chief clerk at a bank with a good reputation. The novel discusses the absurd series of events he had to face after he was suddenly “arrested” one morning. Kafka brings to the forefront, the theme of frustration and helplessness while dealing with a corrupt, incomprehensible and unjust justice system that seemed to be highly stifling to those who seek justice. The novel is one of the most well-known portrayals of what has come to be known as the Kafkaesque style of writing This paper will be a descriptive analysis of the novel “The Trial” by Franz Kafka in terms of the unfair trial, unconventional arrest and an incomprehensible legal system which form the core aspects of the story.

Keywords: Trial, Incomprehensible system of law, Bureaucracy of law, corruption, Unjustifiable trial


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