The Trial


Franz Kafka

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Trial can help.

Everything you need
for every book you read.

"Sooo much more helpful than SparkNotes. The way the content is organized
and presented is seamlessly smooth, innovative, and comprehensive."
Get LitCharts A+
  • Easy-to-use guides to literature, poetry, literary terms, and more
  • Super-helpful explanations and citation info for over 30,000 important quotes
  • Unrestricted access to all 50,000+ pages of our website and mobile app
Get LitCharts A+

The Doorkeeper Character Analysis

A character in the parable Josef hears from the prison chaplain. The doorkeeper guards a gate to the law; behind him, more powerful doorkeepers guard other gates. A man comes seeking access to the Law, but the doorkeeper refuses to let him past, even though the man waits in front of the gate for his entire lifetime. When the man dies, the doorkeeper closes the gate and reveals that the gate existed for that man alone.

The Doorkeeper Quotes in The Trial

The The Trial quotes below are all either spoken by The Doorkeeper or refer to The Doorkeeper. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Justice vs. The Law Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of The Trial published in 2009.
Chapter 9 Quotes

I am only accepting this so you will not think there is something you have omitted to do.

Related Characters: The Doorkeeper (speaker)
Page Number: 156
Explanation and Analysis:

No one else could be granted entry here, because this entrance was intended for you alone. I shall now go and shut it.

Related Characters: The Doorkeeper (speaker)
Page Number: 155
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Trial LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Trial PDF

The Doorkeeper Character Timeline in The Trial

The timeline below shows where the character The Doorkeeper appears in The Trial. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
Justice vs. The Law Theme Icon
The Absurd Theme Icon
The Unknowable and Interpretation Theme Icon
...from the country tries to gain access to the law, but is forbidden by a doorkeeper. The doorkeeper tells the man that it is possible for him to gain entry at... (full context)
Justice vs. The Law Theme Icon
The Absurd Theme Icon
The Unknowable and Interpretation Theme Icon their positions compare. Josef begins to realize that it is possible to see the doorkeeper’s role as anything ranging from a considerate, dutiful servant to a small-minded cheat. The chaplain... (full context)