16 Aug
We're right back where we started.  This is the same illustration that was used for chapter one.

We’re right back where we started. This is the same illustration that was used for chapter one.

Chapter 10: The chapter is titled “The End”.  It’s not only the end of the story; it’s the end of Joseph K.  A year has passed.  Two men come, escort Joseph out of town and kill him.

230 pages later– I have more questions than when I started.

My copy of the text includes unfinished chapters (which I did not read), passages deleted by the author (which I did read), excerpts from Kafka’s diaries ( I skipped), and three postscripts by Max Brod (I skimmed).

I learned from the postscripts Kafka wanted his work to be destroyed upon his death.  Max Brod told Kakfa that he wouldn’t.  Brod was convinced that Kafka understood he was serious about ignoring the man’s last request.  After Kafka’s death Brod went ahead with the publication of The Trial.  Brod was the person who put the chapters in order, and years later Max believed that Kafka intended for the fifth chapter to be the second chapter.  Kafka never wanted Joseph K’s trial to go to a highest court.  He only wanted to prolong the events.

Now.  How to answer the wrap-up questions.  Did you try?  Did you retitle the story?  Did you feel sympathy for any characters?  Did you discuss themes and motifs?

Why is this book a classic?  It’s not even finished!

I did some reading online.  I found this quote on Sparknotes.

“…it is Kafka’s description of the struggle to find meaning in a cosmos he knew to be meaningless that makes his work the gateway to modern literature.”


Posted by on August 16, 2013 in The Trial


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4 responses to “Endings

  1. Ruth @ Experiment with The Well-Educated Mind

    August 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I answered a total of three questions, and I think I made answers up in my mind that I was content with. I have no idea if I am even close.

    As for the quote: it’s right on! Have you noticed how really odd these 20th century stories are becoming compared to our previous reads? I think it says a lot about our society and culture.

    • Christine

      August 17, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      It makes me a little depressed to think about what’s to come on our reading list. Will there be any happy endings? My oldest asks, “When can I read along with you again?” and I just keep suggesting Oliver Twist and Huckleberry Finn.

  2. Jean @ Howling Frog

    August 17, 2013 at 12:14 am

    I liked The Trial. Yeah, it’s really bizarre, but as a portrait of how we can get stuck in bureaucracy, it was spot on.


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