Author: George Orwell
Genre: Science Fiction – Dystopia
Originally Published: June 8th 1949
Format: eBook (326 pages)
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 . . .
My Rating: ★★★
I found it quite difficult to decide whether I would rate this book 3 or 4 stars but the longer this internal debate went on the more I realised that I wouldn’t be having such a tough time rating it if this was a 4 star book for me. Although, please note that a 3 star rating does mean that I liked the book.
I loved the premise of this book. The world that George Orwell created for this story is terrifying, I can’t imagine what it would have been like to read this book before 1984, it would have absolutely petrified me. I hated almost everything about the society that Orwell created here and I really liked that the small rebellion was discretely shown. There were parts of this book where I felt like I was staring at large chunks of texts that just didn’t interest me, yet at other times I found myself flying through chapters. It made my experience feel a little disjointed. The last few chapters of the book were by far my favourite as it really showed just how the human psyche can be manipulated.
I didn’t particularly like Winston as a character, which also will have contributed to the way in which I read this book. I did like Julia and would have liked to see more about her in the book, but maybe that is the feminist in me wanting to see a woman standing up for her rights against such an extreme system. On the whole I don’t really feel that the characters were supposed to be the most important part of this book though so that’s okay. For me, this book is all about the message it gives and the way that message creeps into your own mind, making you doubt what is going on around you.
I only hope that what Orwell wrote will never become a true reality (although many similarities could be drawn today, I’m sure). Overall a good read that I would recommend everyone gives a go at some point in their life time.
“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”
“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”
“Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”
“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”