Friday, August 14, 2015

1984 by George Orwell

Publication Date:  June 8, 1949
Publisher:  Secker and Warburg 
Series:  Stand Alone
Pages:  339
Genre:  Dystopian
Synopsis:  Winston Smith works for the Ministry of truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent - even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101 . . . 

Review:  I'm not even sure where to start with this one.  Do you ever read a book that is more than just a book, somehow?  

1984 is horrifying.  It is realistic to a point that is chilling.  After all, this is basically a political metaphor tied up in a story.  The past is rewritten and people's minds are warped beyond repair.  George Orwell puts into words ideas that everyone knows but cannot put into tangible words. 

War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength. 

The writing isn't beautiful, or lyrical, or any of the above.  It is a style like no other I have ever before encountered, but certainly hope to again.  George Orwell has a tendency to go off on long tangents of thought, but this only adds to the story.  The plot keeps you engaged, from the very first word to the very last.

The power of 1984 is that it isn't a simple essay on politics and a warning to the world.  Instead of telling about a society that makes you want to hide under the covers, it shows you. 

I won't venture to say that I loved any of the characters.  But it isn't really them that the book focuses on, it is what they represent to the world they live in and what that world gives back.

He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.  

Winston is intellectually a rebel against the painstakingly crafted civilization.  Inwardly, he despises Big Brother and he represents. Julia only fights back to suit her own needs.  As a pair, they pose a very real danger to Oceania.  Theirs is a serious case of insta-love, which kills me a little still.  For such a profound novel, it commits such a serious offense.

However, the story isn't about Winston and Julia.  It is about Oceania, and about Big Brother.  It says: take a look at this world where the past isn't trustworthy and children turn against their own parents--what is it that disturbs you?  

The greatest triumph of 1984 is its innate ability to make you stop and think.  To digest the information you just read, to let it sink in and fester.  You never really stop thinking about this book, not even long after you've closed it.  

4.5 Keys


  1. This book. Must read. Now. It sounds so creepy yet so so interesting and the writing style does sound intriguing... Another great review - celebrate with some cake!

    1. DO READ. Right now! It is honestly one of the best books I have read this year so far, maybe one of the best books EVER. It's even better with cake. Thanks, Rebekah! ;D

  2. I read this in school. A LONG time ago. I remember not loving but it could have been because I had to read it. Maybe I will try again one day. Great review!

    1. I usually dislike books I read for school, so I read this before I have to for school. I would suggest you reread it! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Hi I just discovered your blog and followed :)
    This book is on my TBR, and it is currently sitting on my shelf so hopefully I'll get to read it soon! It is such a classic, and I haven't read any George Orwell yet...*gasp* I'm glad that you liked it so much!

    1. Aww, thanks so much! :D You should read this as soon as you possibly can! It is truly amazing. It was my first George Orwell book and did NOT disappoint! I hope you love it just as much as I did! Thanks for commenting!