Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Book Review: 1984

Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Publisher: Signet
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. While 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is more timely than ever. 1984 presents a "negative utopia", that is at once a startling and haunting vision of the world — so powerful that it's completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of entire generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions — a legacy that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

Review: "Two and two make five."  "Freedom is slavery."  "War is peace."

Can you see how this book screwed with my mind?!  Not only is this a more advanced piece of literature that is often used for a lesson of AP English classes, but it was way out of my league... and I liked it!

Although slow at first, Winston's curiosity aroused my curiosity and made the wheels in my head spin.  This is not your typical fiction dystopian story, my friends.  You can't read a single page mindlessly - it's nearly impossible to.  It's as though Orwell forces you to think! (How dare he...)

Julia confused me.  She came out of nowhere and her intentions were unclear.  She admits that she loves Winston, but the people in their society are barely able to think for themselves, let alone love.  The one thing I loved about her though was her rebellious spirit.  She knew the risks of defying the government, but she was smart enough to blend into the crowd.

The government was another hard concept for me to grasp.  Was the Party the government with Big Brother as the ambassador, or was Big Brother the government that the Party did the dirty work for?  Did Big Brother truly exist, or was he created to stir fear in the citizens of Oceania?  Even with these unanswered questions (and more that I didn't mention in fear of spoilers), I couldn't get enough of the overall concept - a government that controls everyone's thoughts in fear of them discovering the truth.

 "'There will be no loyalty, except loyalty toward the Party.  There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother.  There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy.  There will be no art, no literature, no science.  When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science.  There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness.  There will be no curiosity, no employment of the process of life.  All competing pleasures will be destroyed... there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler.  Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless.  If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.'" 

Bet you couldn't imagine a world like that until now... and that is the power of reading. (=

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