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, 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, 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 entire section is 642 words.)