Franz, a young man, works in a dye factory in Prague. One day he notices a skin-rash, like eczema, growing on his hands. All attempts to treat it with ointment fail, and the rash gradually spreads over his body. After complaining to the management he is laid off work; his relationship with his fiancee is affected. In an attempt to get compensation from his former employers he goes to insurance firm Assicurazion Generali, where he encounters an enigmatic clerk called Kafka.