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How Would You Characterize The Women Of "The Trial" By Franz Kafka? Do They Seem Like Real People?

1397 words - 6 pages

"The Trial", a novel written by Franz Kafka, has been considered to be one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. However, it has also been greatly controversial, and has gone from being burned, to being praised since its publication. Throughout The Trial, Kafka had created a surrealistic atmosphere, which is not only evident by the events in the book, but also by the characters. Particularly, the women in the novel are peculiar, and have various bizarre effects on the protagonist, Joseph K. The characterization of these women is quite complex, and varies from them having insignificant, to significant roles.As the novel progresses, the women in the novel become increasingly important. In the beginning of "The Trial", we are introduced to women such as Frau Grubach, who has an insignificant role in his trial, to Elsa, to Fraulein Bustner, to the washer woman, and finally Leni, who has significant information involving his trial. However, even though these women all have some humane characteristics, they also all seem to be quite surreal.In the very beginning of the novel, the landlady, Frau Grubach is introduced. K. mentions her in the first paragraph when he is describing her, and his breakfast's absence. We are told that Frau Grubach regards K. highly, and he is her favorite border, however she seems to lack interest, and avoids involvement with K.'s case, reacting in ways that make K. think to himself "She seems to think it not quite right that I should mention it. All the more need for me to do so. I could not mention it to anyone but this old woman." This not only reveals that K. believes she is acting awkwardly when he mentions the arrest, but it also reveals K.'s need for support, and how he could not have mentioned it to anyone else at the time.It is also evident that Frau Grubach cares about K., and that she is on his side, but seems to think it unnecessary for her to know a lot about the trial, even if "it is a matter of your happiness, and I really have that at heart, more perhaps than I should, for I am only your landlady". This shows that even though she cares, she knows her position, and tries not to cross the line of having K. be nothing more to him than a border.Subsequently in the novel, we are introduced to Elsa, who works as a waitress in a wine restaurant. He mentions her when contemplating about whether or not to visit her that night or not. It is quite clear that they are on good terms; otherwise he would not go to visit her so late in the night. However, she is not mentioned further in the book, so it is likely that she and K. are just having a sexual relationship. This is a possibility because of her absence throughout K.'s trial, thus making the reader believe she is not important to him, yet they are also friendly enough for him to pay her visits late at night.The following woman present in the book is Fraulein Burstner. Fraulein Bustner is a resident at the same house. K. was earlier told by Frau Grubach that...

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