Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice

23 Jul

Apparently Kafka never read that particular nursery rhyme.   Or perhaps he had issues with his mother.   Maybe he was spurned by his true love.   All I can say is that something happened to the guy that tainted his opinion of women in general.   Of course, the only way I can surmise this is from viewing the women in The Trial.   What is with these women?

In Chapter One we run into his landlady, Mrs. Grubach.   Her relationship with Joseph is perhaps the most normal or appropriate one.   He is angered by her “betrayal” in Chapter One, but does eventually apologize. She comes off as weak and confused, but at least she doesn’t seem to find Joseph attractive and throw herself at him like most of the other women.

Miss Burstner is his neighbor across the hall.   Joseph goes to great lengths to stay on her good side, and is angered at the intrusion into her apartment, almost more so than the intrusion into his own.   Weird.   He grabs her and kisses her soundly after a late-night apology.

Then there is the trampy wife of the court usher he has a conversation with in Chapter Three as he’s trying to find the court.   She offers to let Joseph do whatever he wants with her (which he decides to take advantage of), but then she goes off with someone else, leaving Joseph disappointed, but trying not to show it.

There is a brief encouter in Chapter Four with a Miss Montag, the French teacher, who is moving in with Miss Burstner.   He really wants to see Miss B, so is angered by this “pale, febrile” woman who limps about the place moving her things and tells him that Miss B. doesn’t want to see him at all.

While meeting with his uncle’s lawyer in Chapter Six, he leaves abruptly and makes out with the maid, Leni, even after sharing with her the picture of his lover, Elsa, a barmaid.   Leni doesn’t seem to care, and continues throwing herself at Joseph.

We also meet a really odd teen girl gang hanging around the artist’s residence, proving generally annoying to everyone.

The women in this novel seem to be generally low-class, are powerless to change anything, are treated like pawns, and have no qualms about throwing themselves at Joseph.  Sexual behavior seems almost a release for both parties, with no significance attached.   Their behavior is often confusing at best, mimicking the plot of the novel.  I agree with Christine – I miss Jane.


Posted by on July 23, 2013 in The Trial


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2 responses to “Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice

  1. Tonia

    July 24, 2013 at 9:26 am

    This novel was weird all around. I’m thinking Kafka had some issues.

    • Christine

      July 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      Issues for sure.


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