Just like it happened with The Castle, The Trial was never finished by Franz Kafka, but edited by Max Brod. The novel came out in 1925 but was written between 1914 and 1915.
The Watcher Concept
Much has been said about the parallel between Orwell´s 1984 and The Trial and how the paranoid idea of a society being continuously monitored is deployed in both plots. For those of you who haven´t read 1984, I urge you to, it is an amazing science fiction novel. The big difference between them is the writer´s style. Perhaps the thirty years that separate the novels are a definitive fact because many things happened between one and the other including the events of World War.
The novel is disturbing from beginning to end. When I first read it I was amazed how much could Kafka do telling so little about what really goes on. The plot is completely empty, but yet full of meaning. Much like what happens with Odradek, the idea of the writer is to leave enough empty room between his words for us to pour all our imagination inside the void and fill it. This is not uncommon in Kafka´s work and it might just be his most precious literary resource. He was a master of mystery and was awesome at showing the public half the story, so we could make up the other half.
Kafka´s The Trial deals with huge concepts such as righteousness, justice, morality and ethics without directly dealing with them, but giving the reader some elements for the projection of those ideas.