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MonkeyNotes-The Trial by Franz Kafka
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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS

SETTING

The setting is early twentieth century urban atmosphere in offices, courtrooms and furnished drawing room premises. The major part of the action takes place in the maze of courtrooms with its corridors and passages. The cathedral also functions as an important part of the plot. Nature is occasionally the backdrop with sunshine and rain, daylight and darkness.

LIST OF CHARACTERS

Major

Joseph K.

The chief clerk in the bank is the protagonist. He seeks justice constantly from the corrupt and lethargic courts. In the process he is faced with his own faults and weakness.

Minor

Franz and William

They are the warders who place K. under arrest at his residence.

Rabensteiner, Kaminer, Kullich

They are subordinate employees working under K. in the bank.

Frau Grubach

The landlady.

Fräulein Bürstner

The lady staying at Frau Grubach's place, K.'s neighbor and friend. After his arrest, K. is greatly dependent on her opinion.

Lanz, The Captain

The captain is Frau Grubach's nephew who becomes Fräulein Bürstnerís friend replacing K.

Herr Hastier

K.'s lawyer. He does not come into the picture at all.


A young woman

She is the usher's wife. She lives in the courtrooms. A student and the examining magistrate have an affair with her, bribing her with gifts.

The Usher

The usher is the man announcing the people entering the courtrooms. He knows every nook and corner or the maze of corridors, rooms and passages in the courtrooms. He is a patient and wise man.

The Examining Magistrate

Like other court officials though he makes a pretense of working in the presence of the usher's wife, most of the law books and files/cases lie unopened gathering dust. He exploits the usher's wife. He is poor and not paid as well as K.

The Clerk of Inquired

Represents the information bureau. He is a very patient man who believes that the court officials are not harsh or negligent.

The girl in the Courtroom

She works in the courts and accompanies K. and the usher to the clerk of inquiries. She supports K. when he almost hints.

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