This is the first 1,000 characters of 10156 words (40.62 pages) in the essay titled The Trial
by Franz Kafka
read by Geoffrey Howard
This disturbing and vastly influential novel has been interpreted on many levels of structure and symbol; but most commentators agree that the book explores the themes of guilt, anxiety, and moral impotency in the face of some ambiguous force.
Joseph K. is an employee in a bank, a man without particular qualities or abilities. He could be anyone, and in some ways he is everyone. His inconsequence makes doubly strange his “arrest” by the officer of the court in the large city where K. lives. He tries in vain to discover how he has aroused the suspicion of the court. His honesty is conventional; his sins, with Elsa the waitress, are conventional; and he has no striking or dangerous ambitions. He can only ask questions, and receives no answers that clarify the strange world of courts and court functionaries in which he is compelled to wander.
The plight of Joseph K., consumed by guilt and condemned for a “crime” he doe...
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