Similarities in Kafkas "Metamorphosis" and "The Trial"

Essay by Austin3College, UndergraduateB, November 1996

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Two of Kafkas' most predominate works, The Trial and The Metamorphosis, are very similar in many aspects, yet also have unique differences. Many of these similarities and differences are very obvious, but also there are subtle comparisons that the reader might not pick up while reading. One would think, after reading both stories, that the differences outweigh the similarities, but that is not entirely true. Not only should the reader view the style of the writing when comparing the two, but also the setting and plot of the two stories. Both stories relate to loneliness, frustration and individuals threatened by anonymous forces beyond comprehension or control.

Although the struggle between these anonymous forces are a lot more evident in The Metamorphosis, they are also seen throughout The Trial. In The Metamorphosis, the anonymous force is whatever, or whoever, changed Gregor Samsa into an insect. In The Trial, the struggle is more complex.

Joseph K struggles to find the true meaning behind his arrest. He searches for answers related to his case, but no one can give him a clear answer as to why he was arrested. Not even the inspector that arrested him,

'These gentlemen here and myself have no standing whatever in this affair of yours, indeed we know hardly anything about it. We might wear the most official uniforms and your case would not be a penny worse. I can't even confirm that you are charged with an offense, or rather, I don't know whether you are.' (p 12)

As you can see, K has no luck getting information regarding his case. In fact, from the time he was first put under arrest to when he was killed, he never encountered the anonymous force that issued the arrest. The same is true for The Metamorphosis. Gregor never finds...