The Guilt Of Uncertainty Essay

1267 words - 5 pages

After a brief period where Josef essentially starts ignoring his trial completely, his uncle enters the story. His uncle seems rather concerned at Josef's lack of interest in the trial, and insists on bringing him to a lawyer, who he sets to work on Josef's case. Josef's interactions with this lawyer are rather revealing. First, he doesn't seem to like the lawyer from the beginning, as he's been enjoying ignoring the problem up to this point. Second, the lawyer handles Josef's case in such a way that there is much activity and no progress. When one considers that Josef was brought to the lawyer by a well-meaning family member, this could perhaps be representative of familial reluctance to face the problems of their relations - instead substituting lots of action for actual progress. Finally, Josef spends most of his time at the lawyer's with the maid, rather than working on his trial. Again, he allows himself to be distracted by a woman.
More time passes, and the lawyer continues to talk much and accomplish nothing. The constant state of concern is beginning to wear Josef down, and stress starts to show. He goes from not wanting anything to do with the trial, to wanting to handle every detail himself. In accordance with this wish he fires his lawyer, and for the first time in the story repels the advances of the maid he had heretofore been sleeping with. At this point, it seems as if Josef is finally ready to face the reality of his trial and get it over with. He soon lapses into a depressive obsession, however, after determining to draw up a petition of everything he's ever done to prove that he must be innocent. In this part of the story, Josef begins on the right path by trying to face his guilt himself, and he even sets about starting to interrogate himself. Unfortunately, he is dismayed by such a daunting task, and as he refuses to examine his life objectively it is ultimately an impossibility. Still convinced of his innocence, but less confident when faced with the struggle of self-examination, Josef is briefly distracted from his all consuming interest in the trial by a business matter.
He is asked to show a visiting Italian business man the local cathedral, and arranges to meet the man at a certain time at the appropriate location. While Josef arrives for the appointment, the man does not. Not wanting the trip to be a complete waste, and half hoping the man shows up eventually, Josef wanders around the cathedral looking at the statues and paintings. While he is looking at the artwork, Josef also seems rather afraid the priest will try to speak to him. And when he sees the priest climb into the pulpit, he tries to discreetly make for the door. Unfortunately for Josef, the priest calls to him from the pulpit, and he reluctantly turns around to face the man. The priest brusquely asks Josef if he's aware that his trial is not going well. Josef admits this is probably the case, while insisting it isn't for lack of trying on his part. At...


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