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MonkeyNotes-The Trial by Franz Kafka
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Now comes K.'s lengthy meeting with the manufacturer. The Assistant Manager has concluded his deal with the manufacturer. He does not show his papers to K. as he had earlier promised. But he mentions the case with its contents held up at court and offers his help. He knows about a painter who visits all the judges and could help K. He also complements K.'s good sense that he would withdraw his case from Dr. Huld and that K. himself is an excellent lawyer who can argue his own case.

The painter is Titoreli. K. suggests that he could write to him. But the manufacturer warns K. against such a move. K. realizes that he has been too careless because he is tensed up. The letter could be used as evidence against him, of plotting against the court. He realizes he has not been alert at all. The manufacturer gives that painter's address and his letter of recommendation. K. postpones his official business at the Bank and all his three appointments.

The description of the Prague Township is extremely graphic. The painter's house is situated diametrically opposite to the court offices. It is a filthy area, rat infected, gutters oozing out in the snow, infants crying on the street. There is again the maze of staircases, which he climbs. It is filled with, young adolescent screaming girls.

Titorelli is painting the portrait of a judge, similar to the one K. had seen in Dr. Huld's house. The portraits of all the judges look similar. All judges are vain enough to get themselves painted as though they are seated on the high chair. K. observes that justice has to stand still absolutely otherwise the scales would tilt.

The painter tries to make him comfortable in his room. The scene appears to be more like a shrink's office. Though K. asserts that he is innocent, the painter thinks it is of little consequence. He also agrees that his case would be listened to by judges in portraits rather than by those in the actual room. The court does not act on proofs brought to its notice in the court proceedings. But the court could be influenced behind the scenes. The painter seems to be more powerful than the lawyers themselves are. K.'s furious that the painter seems to be questioning his innocence again. If the painter offers his assistance on the condition that he is innocent K. feels he is of little help. On the flip side does K. himself doubt his innocence? But K. feels that the painter is more reliable and appreciates his frankness.


The painter proceeds to give a diluted account of the trial and judgement. There are he says three kinds of acquittals. One, that is a certain definite acquittal, a showy one - "ostensible" acquittal and the third an indefinite postponement. He says K. could get acquitted without anybody's help if he is absolutely innocent. But K. is quite surprised and says that there is a contradiction. He says that the painter had said that the court did not decide on evidence being produced and also that the judges could be influenced by people who were close to them. K. considers this as improper court procedures.

The painter intervenes and says that there is a discrepancy between the legal code and its functioning.

K. says that the court makes charges on flimsy grounds and does not discharge the accused. The painter's response is a firm negation. He describes it in terms of his painting. The speechless pompous judges in all his portraits could pardon K., but in reality the court would never do so. K. is still confident and proud of his organizing skills at the bank. He decides to make use of the painter and others of his caliber and thus rid himself of the accusation. K is impressed that the painter also helps poor people.

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