I’ve heard about this novel, and finally I got the time and was intrigued enough to read it. I must confess, it is a bit confusing at parts, but the overall confusion sticks to it like fruit flies to apples.
When I read the name of the main character Josef K. I immediately thought it is going to be a novel in which I could feel an autobiographical account, but it might be just my imagination that has led me to think that. Anyway, as I read it I started to see the character as having a weird shizoidal attitude to all of people around him. He is being accused or even going through a trial without knowing the crime of which he is being accused of. Here is where I sense the metaphors kick in. To justify myself: first-the jury and all the judicial system is working in areas and locations viewed by the people in that time as expressing lack of financial resources (the offices are situated in attics); second – he never sees any judge and all the hearings are done without mentioning of the crime, and without possibility to defend or justify anything; and third- K. himself goes through different stages regarding the trial itself(ignoring it, and then trying desperately to find out how the system works and then to create a defense against the crime accused of).
All this point me to the idea that maybe the trial was something that the character has imposed itself upon, like something subjective that he accused himself of and then trying to convince himself that is being accused and trialed, but he is the judge and he is the one accused. The fact that he renounces to seek help from outsiders (lawyers, family members, friends) and he renounces slowly to all thoughts of an advancing career leads to the end of the trial and the serving of the punishment. He is the one that gives him that punishment, and although he is being executed by two men, in reality it seems more like a suicidal action, one that he has planned as a consequence of his imaginary trial.
This view is the one that makes sense the most, and for me it is the key to understanding this tangled novel.