A Review of 1984 by George Orwell

Oceania has been in a state of war since the 70’s. It is governed by a central authority called the Party. This Party is represented by Big Brother.

The state of the country is miserable. Everything is rationed and the Inner party members or the highest authorities are constantly playing with facts and altering them as to keep the public confused. They uphold the doctrines of,

WAR IS PEACE.

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

The people of Oceania do not have the freedom to think, act, have sex or believe anything other than what the Party wants. Every individual is watched at all times, all actions are recorded and observed. Any act against the doctrines of the Party is considered Thoughtcrime and the individuals who go against these rules are captured and tortured at the Ministry of Love.

Winston is a 39 year-old member of the Outer Party of Oceania. He works in the Ministry of Truth and his job entails rewriting historical records according to the Party’s wishes.

He meets a beautiful young woman called Julia, who professes her love for him. They have an affair. They both hate the Party and are guilty of Thoughtcrime. Eventually, they are both caught and tortured in the Ministry of Love.

This book is about Winston’s struggle with the Party’s ideologies and how he overcomes his imprisonment.

 

Review

Orwell is a master at his art, as is obvious from the classic status his books have received. 1984 is a must read on most lists and will remain so, simply because of the depth of thought the author has gone through in creating this dystopian universe where communism rules and Big Brother is the ideology.

1984 is a political fiction which I believe is George Orwell’s forte.

This book is inspired by the events of World War II,  where the Churchill government controlled the publications newspapers and other media, to show only what the government was lobbying.

It is one of the original dystopian novels to be published.

I loved this book, although some might find it depressing, it is deep and thought-provoking like other Orwellian works.

Quotes

“It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy, but always against one’s own body.”

“Do you realise that the past, starting from yesterday has been actually abolished? If it survives anywhere, it’s ina few solid objects with no words attached to them, like that lump of glass there.”

“War, it will be seen, not only accomplishes the necessary destruction, but accomplishes it ina psychologically accptable way.”

“The two aims of the Party are to conquer the whole surface of the earth and to extinguish once and for all the possibility of indeppendent thought.

“What knowledge have we of anything, save through our own minds.”

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