By: George Orwell
Genre: Dystopia/Utopia, Political fiction, social science fiction
1984 by George Orwell is undoubtedly a very powerful and well disturbing read. The terrifying world that the book centers around will leave chills down your spine.
Summary: In the year 1984 Winston Smith lives in a world where there is an eternal war under Big Brother: an overly controlling government who sees and controls everything and everyone. Winston finds Big Brother oppressive and decides to rebel by doing things like writing in a journal and being in love with a girl called Julia. 1984 takes you through Winston’s journey of finding his individuality and leaves you really thinking about the world we live in today..
The book is divided into three parts and not much action occurs until we get into part two. Part one was so bland that the first time I read it I decided to give up on the book. Although I am glad I picked it up again because trust me it may be a little hard to get into at first but once you progress into part two you’ll be hooked!
One of things that awed me the most about 1984 was the world building. George Orwell creates such a frightening society where you’re constantly been watched and controlled by the government. The concept of “doublethink” blew my mind! the idea of always having to change your beliefs and manipulate your consciousness in order to satisfy Big Brother left a very powerful impact on me.
The characters were very hard to empathize with. Especially in part one I just couldn’t connect with Winston and later on with Julia also I was not able to link with her feelings. However, towards the end of the book Winston’s character came off so powerful and I felt the pain and the terror and I shared all the frustration with him. I felt like I also started connecting with Winston when we got some of the insights in his past and to know his family along with the relationship he had with his wife. After giving this much thought I have come to the conclusion that maybe the characters were just there as objects to introduce us to this world.
The most terrifying part of the book and also some what my favorite was the realization that the world of 1984 isn’t very different to the world we live in now. I became conscious of this fact while I was reading the excerpts from Goldstein’s book which made me wish there were more excerpts as it made things so much clearer for me. Another powerful yet depressing thing about the book was the motive of the government to make the world into a dull place with no laughter, no art, no freedom to think or create and basically turn its citizens into zombies.
Overall, 1984 was a rather peculiar read from my perspective. George Orwell is such a convincing writer and his use of language in this book is so strong and thought-provoking which just makes the book all the more amazing. The world building in 1984 and how the author examines it from all aspects along with its feelings of despair make it a very scary yet powerful read.