Saturday, January 5, 2013

Book Review: Nineteen Eighty-Four

I knew that reading all these old classics would eventually pay off!

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell was absolutely right up my alley. I am absolutely fascinated by books and movies about future dystopian societies or anything post-apocalyptic, so of course this novel sucked me in right away.

In case you're not familiar, Nineteen Eighty-Four was published in 1949 and is set in Oceania, where society is tyrannized by The Party and its totalitarian ideology. It is a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public mind control, dictated by a political system called Ingsoc, or English Socialism. The privileged Inner Party elite persecute all individualism and independent thinking as "thoughtcrimes," and their tyranny is headed by Big Brother, who may or may not actually exist.

The protagonist is named Winston Smith, an Outer Party member who works for Minitrue (the Ministry of Truth), which is responsible for propaganda and revising past historical records to conform with current party lines. But Winston secretly hates the Party and Big Brother, and dreams of rebelling against them. Soon enough he meets and begins a relationship with Julia, who shares his thoughts, and together them embark upon a journey that will inevitably end in disaster.

I thought Nineteen Eighty-Four was incredibly intriguing. Even though it was published in 1949 I could have believed it was written yesterday, and I think Orwell might have been able to see into the future. I found it so terrifying to think about how quickly and easily our society could sink to this level... and perhaps is already going down this path. This is a horror story without any monsters, and it becomes more haunting as it becomes more real...

Be careful... Big Brother is watching.

1 comment :

  1. I've always been kinda nervous to read that book for some reason. I think I confuse it with Animal Farm, which I don't think I could handle!

    Maybe I'll give it a try, it is nice to read the classics :)

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