How would you characterize the women of "The Trial" by Franz Kafka? Do they seem like real people?

Essay by stasia_teeHigh School, 11th gradeB, November 2006

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"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...