Author: George Orwell
Published: June 8 1949
Genre: dystopia, classic
My Rating: ★★★★☆
There are no spoilers in this review.
Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell’s nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff’s attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell’s prescience of modern life–the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language–and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written.
(This synopsis is from Goodreads.)
I’ve had a really bad track record with required readings. I never tend to like them because either
1) I don’t understand what the author is trying to say
2) The story is so painfully boring
3) The work that comes after the reading chips away at my soul
Basically, I’m not the biggest fan of reading classics. Sue me.
The only classic that I actually liked was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Maybe it was because it wasn’t in old English. Maybe it was because the story was actually interesting.
Anywho, although I didn’t like reading 1984, I didn’t mind it either. There were some parts that felt like I was pulling out my own teeth (I’m looking at you, Goldstein’s textbook), but for the most part it was easy to understand what was going on.
I mean, it’s not the best book in the world in my opinion, but I understand why people like the story and how it became a classic. It was interesting to see what someone from the past thought of what would happen to their future. Obviously, Orwell’s fears did not come true by 1984 (thank goodness). The world he described was very colorless and full of fear. The thing that scared me the most is that I could see myself as one of the brainwashed people who worshiped Big Brother. I’m easily gullible, and it doesn’t take much to sway me from one side to another. I guess in that sense Orwell was trying to warn me to not believe everything that I hear from others.
The first part of the book was sort of slow. It just introduced the world and the main characters to set the foundation for the rest of the story. Although it is not the most interesting part of the story (that title goes to the third part of the book), it is still important to read it. If you try to read 1984 and can’t seem to get through the beginning, power through it. The second part is where the action starts to pick up. There were some parts of Winston’s actions that I didn’t agree with, but he wasn’t the worst character. Let’s just say inner thoughts and outer appearance is a big theme in the story and it applies to all the characters. ALL. OF. THEM. Whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you.
Overall, the story was relatively interesting. I actually could see myself rereading this book in the far future to tickle my fancy. If you’re thinking about reading this just for fun, I say go for it. Orwell really makes you think, even if you’re just reading the book for pleasure. It’s a good story, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to give it a go.
It some ways he’s the protagonist in the story, but often times I viewed him as an antagonist as well.
Never really was a fan of Julia from the beginning, but she’s human and I can’t fault her for that.
The sad thing about the Parsons is that they seem like friendly neighbors despite being loyal to Big Brother. You can’t help but feel sympathy for them because their children are kind of terrible.
I give this book 4 / 5 unicorn horns. It wasn’t half bad, although some parts were hard to get through.
This has absolutely nothing to do with the review but I found this while looking for .gifs to put in this post and I thought I’d spread the joy.
Until next time….