Haley Dionne

Date of Award


First Advisor

Brendan Mathews

Second Advisor

Susan Lyon


Through exploring different critical arguments and perspective of The Trial, this thesis aims to explore how Josef K. exists outside of a community and collective tradition, and because of which he is unable to establish a symbolic order. Josef K. is presented as a bourgeois individualist convicted in a society where the economic importance of his social position fails in preventing him from being guilty of no identity. The legal system of this world exists to entrap through his individualist notions. His identity falls apart when confronted with the unbounded system of the law and the power of the court, as there is no community understanding to help K. stand against or make sense of these subaltern spaces. Existing outside a linguistic community, K. suffers an inability to posit his subjectivity through language, convinced to accept the identity of a guilty man.

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