Wow. I finally finished 1984 and tomorrow, I have to present it in class. That’s very good time management. Anyways, I have a pretty different feeling towards it now than after having read the first thirty pages as well as the minutes after finishing it completely vs. now, having informed myself on why the book was written (politics etc.) So this shall be a very interesting review: here are my thoughts on George Orwell’s 1984!
After the Second World War, the earth is divided into three totalitarian regimes which are at never ending war with each other. Winston Smith, a 39 year old worker at the Ministry of Truth for the super state Oceania, appears to be a normal, loyal citizen to the controlling Party. However, there lies a deep hatred for the governing Party and their symbol “Big Brother is watching you”. Other than most people, Winston is aware of the doctrines and lies the Party members inflict on the population, how people are being brainwashed every day. Problem is: the can’t tell anyone for the fear of being simply erased, and even the pure thought of rebellion is thoughtcrime. When Winston meets Julia, a young woman who’s quite different from the rest, his life changes. However, secret love affairs have never brought good luck and soon he must face everything he’s ever feared…
Genre: Classics, Science Fiction
Publikation Date: June 8th 1949
Rating: 3.5 stars
After reading the first thirty pages, I was astonished: I had never read such an intense book, criticizing a totalitarian regime, the every-move surveillance, the party propaganda. I have read political books, yet not one of them had this emotional part attached that made you physically cold while reading – my first impressions.
The plot, however, didn’t contribute to my rating and were the main reason why it’s now 3.5 stars. It took forever to develop. It was the description of everyday-life for the first 150 pages with the simple act of thinking and writing a diary against the principles of the Party to be the first major act of rebellion. I understand that this is a super important fact, but it wasn’t necessary for it to be almost half of the book.
Other than the slow pace, the plot was meaningful to the very extent of the word. Orwell’s main reason was to state a warning and display the dangers of totalitarianism and political authority after witnessing the Spanish Civil War as well as Nazism and Stalinism.
The writing was powerful. Words had a totally different meaning and the created atmosphere added a gripping touch. I felt the darkness danger that is connected to this dystopian world every time I started reading and that was astonishing.
All in all, I understand why it’s said to be one of the most important works of the new world as the dealt problem is still very much present and also important. It enriched my education in a way normal history class will never be able to, by managing to captivate you entirely by a fictive world that could have easily been us had the war ended differently.
Recommendable: to everyone interested in politics and history!
Yes, despite the 3.5 stars, I would recommend this. The slow pace was difficult for me, but I know a lot of people who don’t mind detailed description (and here it was really eye-opening sometimes!).