The Trial

Kafka captures the trauma of Joseph K in The Trial through the use of language techniques.   He includes interior monologue, selective imagery and rhetorical questions to help the audience with K’s suffering.

Interior monologue is used by Kafka to depict K’s trauma.   K’s trauma is caused by his arrest where two policemen who invade his home, do not tell him what law he has broken.   He then ponders whether this is true:

      “He could have taken it all as a joke, a big joke set up by his colleagues at the bank for some unknown reason, or also perhaps because today was his thirtieth birthday...”

However, he finds that the policemen are intimidating him, which makes K even more uncomfortable.

      “[Franz] holding a cup of coffee in his hand which he did not lift to his mouth but looked at K in a way that was probably meant to be full of meaning but could not actually be understood.”

This highlights the ordeal that K is in and is successfully conveyed to the audience.

K’s suffering is further shown through selective imagery.   He lives a quiet life assuming that things like arrests do not happen to him.   He is now become the participant and not the onlooker.   He cannot process that people look onto him indecently.

      “Through the open window he noticed the old woman again, who had come close to the window opposite so that she could continue to see everything.   She was showing an inquisitiveness that made it seem like she was going senile.”

Here, K notices that already, people are looking on and showing curiosity towards his arrest.   Again, it shows his trauma as he faces embarrassment and people finding out about his arrest through word of mouth.

Finally, Kafka uses rhetorical questions in quick succession to emphasise the ignorance that K is in.   This implies the trauma that K is currently in.   After many questions to the policemen, K’s interior monologue asks:

      “What sort of people were these? What were they talking about? What...