The Trial Questions and Answers
by Franz Kafka

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How is The Trial similar to modern society today?

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Keven Hettinger eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One way that The Trial resembles issues still debated in modern society is the way that it questions how effective and fair the legal system is. As Josef K. awaits his trial for a crime that is not fully revealed to him, he is baffled by how the legal system works. He receives very little information about not only what he is on trial for but where and when the trial will be held, who has accused him of the crime, and what evidence is held against him. Even the method of his execution—his throat slit by a butcher's knife—is barbaric, especially considering his confusion throughout the duration of the trial.

A parallel could be made between how unfair some modern trials may be, especially in the eyes of those who value mercy over justice. Although the purpose of modern legal systems is to promote fairness and punish crimes, the legal system can often feel bureaucratic and overly cruel towards those on trial. This may mean that the legal system has the potential to convict and even condemn those who have not yet been proven guilty (like Josef K.) rather than provide everyone with a fair trial.

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