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MonkeyNotes-The Trial by Franz Kafka
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Notes

Frau Grubach is described with a photographic eye for detail, extremely cinematic. As the lens eye moves across the furniture, it hovers around, focussing on the change with the officer seated here.

The chapter is also full of descriptions of his apparel, which will gradually become insignificant. While K. thinks that the Inspector is a fine man who would later realize that the arrest is a mistake, the Inspector in the meantime looks keenly at all the articles in the room, photographs, matchsticks et. al. The seriousness of the situation is contrasted with the mundane reality and orderliness of everyday existence. Though the inspector confirms that all the tenants are taken into confidence to execute the arrest, K. initially feels that the arrest does not confirm his offence.

K. resents his being told to behave properly by a younger man. K. is also sensible enough to think freely and ring up his lawyer, Hasterer. The Inspector asserts that the phone call would be futile. K. drops the idea and responds like a man under arrest.

The inspector's casual attitude admiring his long fingers, the guards sitting on an embroidered cloth on the chest in the lady's room these are fine descriptions, minutely detailed. The contrast highlights the seriousness of the situation. The ordinary and simply furnished room has the "atmosphere of a deserted office", Kafka has transformed the simple room, at the same time the impression on us is that of an official authority.


When Fräulein Bürstner comes in late at night she is totally disinterested in K.'s arrest. K. is so keen on winning her approval that he relates his version of the arrest. He also feels that Fräulein Bürstner is not intelligent enough to comprehend legal matters. Bürstner assures him that she will soon join a law firm. In the meantime captain Lanz, Frau Grubach's nephew seems to be eavesdropping and suddenly bangs at the door.

K. informs Fräulein Bürstner that Frau Grubach respects him and that he has lent her money. K. postpones visiting the cabaret girl, Elsa whom he normally meets once in a week. The captain peeps in when he hears voices. K. grabs Fräulein Bürstner and kisses her impulsively, surprising her.

The mundane orderly world of the chief clerk is disrupted. He is pushed into the world of chaos, which is really the court of law, here. The disorderly law court is housed in attics and slim tenements. The officials are corrupt. They do not follow the natural order of life. The law-abiding man who has achieved success in life thinks he has mastered the rules. Here the actions of the court officials are not based on public justice. The sudden presence of the warders in his room, is actually a threat to K.'s individual freedom. The novel cuts across the modern democratic ideals of individual freedom and liberty. K. feels the change in his situation when he is asked to put on a 'not so good' a shirt. But he has no use for his property though it is secure now. The warders too are corrupt and want to swindle him. He is suddenly thrown into a fearful world of wolves.

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