Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Joseph K.

Joseph K., an employee in a bank. He is a man without particular qualities or abilities, a fact that makes doubly strange his “arrest” by the officer of the Court in the large city where K. lives. K.’s life is purely conventional and resembles the life of any other person of his class. Consequently, he tries in vain to discover how he has aroused the suspicion of the Court. His honesty is conventional; his sins, with Elsa the waitress, are conventional; and he has no striking or dangerous ambitions. He is a man without a face; at the most, he can only ask questions, and he receives no answers that clarify the strange world of courts and court functionaries in which he is compelled to wander.

Frau Grubach

Frau Grubach, K.’s landlady. She has a high opinion of K. and is deeply shocked by his arrest. She can do nothing to help him.

Fräulein Bürstner

Fräulein Bürstner, a respectable young woman who also lives in Frau Grubach’s house. She avoids any close entanglement with K.

The Assistant Manager

The Assistant Manager, K.’s superior at the bank. He invites K. to social occasions that K. cannot attend because of his troubles with the Court. He is also eager to invade K.’s proper area of authority.

The Examining Magistrate

The Examining Magistrate, the official who opens the formal investigation of K.’s offense. He conducts an unruly, arbitrary, and unsympathetic hearing.

The Washerwoman...

(The entire section is 642 words.)


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Joseph K. is the central character of The Trial, although his perspective is not that of the novel itself. As with other figures out...

(The entire section is 308 words.)