1984 Book Review
Volume 4 Issue 1
November 6, 2023
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War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. World war, civil struggle, and revolution wrecked civilization in 1984. Oceania’s Airstrip One , previously known as Great Britain, is one of three totalitarian super-states. It is dominated by “The Party,” which controls every aspect of Oceania. The Party watches every civilian in Oceania through devices known as telescreens, transferring sound and motion to the Party’s ominous figure known as Big Brother. The Party controls everything in Oceania, from the language spoken, to the people’s history, brainwashing their thoughts to love Big Brother. Using the “Thought Police” and continual surveillance via telescreens, cameras, and hidden microphones, the Party violently removes anyone who does not fully go along with their dictatorship.
Winston Smith is the main character of 1984 and is portrayed as a man who is disillusioned with the society he lives in. He works for the government’s propaganda department, yet secretly rebels. As daring as Winston appears to be in challenging government authority, he battles his own vulnerability and possible belief of Big Brother.
Eric Authur Blair, also known as George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, poet, literary critic, screenwriter, and publicist. He wrote the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four or 1984 as a social science fiction novel and a warning. It was Orwell’s ninth and final book completed during his lifetime, published on June 8th, 1949, about a year before his death. He was a man of strong opinions who addressed some of the major political movements of his times, including imperialism, fascism, and communism. The chilling tale made an impression on readers; his ideas entered mainstream culture in a way achieved by very few books. The novel’s themes include totalitarianism (a government that asserts complete control of its citizens), mass surveillance, and coercive regimentation of people and behaviors in society. The novel was modeled after real-life occurrences with Russian ruler Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin and the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler. Throughout the novel, George Orwell explores the ideas of truth and fact through politics, including the danger of propaganda.
I enjoyed 1984; however, in my opinion, the novel was drawn out at times and lacked detailed information. Even so, George Orwell’s writing style entertained me, and so did the complexity of each character's dialogue. I recommend 1984 to readers who may have read and enjoyed novels such as The Giver or Animal Farm.
Woodcock, George. "George Orwell". Encyclopedia Britannica, 17 Jan. 2022, https://www.britannica.com/biography/George-Orwell. Accessed 7 June 2022.
George Orwell Biograph, Biography.com Editors, The Biography.com website, https://www.biography.com/writer/george-orwell, accessed May 7th, 2022, A&E Television Networks, last edited May 3, 2021, Published April 2, 2014