Review: 1984

So, I forgot to blog yesterday, again. Apologies. Here’s a nice old review, instead:

1984-book-cover

Title: 1984

Author: George Orwell

Publisher: Signet Classics

Rating: 4/5

The year 1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell’s prophetic, nightmarish vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of “negative utopia” -a startlingly original and haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words. No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions -a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

Wow. I have a ton of feelings about this book. Right, firstly, can we talk about how insanely terrifying this book was? The whole idea about the conquest of totalitarian government scare me much more than any Stephen King ever would.

So, an amazingly intriguing read that really gets you thinking.

SPOILERS:

I’m going to start off by talking about what irked/freaked me out the most: Winston’s line of work.

When we find out about what Winston and his department to do the past, it really got me thinking. Anything that doesn’t coincide with the Party’s current view of things is erased and rewritten. Which means that basically there isn’t a concrete past for people to fall back on, and the fact that there is a constant team of people ready to rewrite it whenever the Party has need of it completely freaked me out. To me, the past has always been something concrete and real.

This quote from the novel completely threw me off with its ingenuity:

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

I think this piece of Party propaganda is such a testament towards the Party’s outlook. They rewrite the past to control the course of the future.

Once that’s through, I need to talk about O’Brian. I still can’t believe he was a faithful member of the Party the whole time. It just, to me at least, seemed that the way he talked about the Brotherhood had the right amount of cold fear, exhilaration, and business efficiency. The whole time Winston was talking about seeing O’Brian as his captor, I was convinced he was hallucinating. I guess not.

I really enjoyed the excerpt of the book that Winston gets from O’Brian. I loved reading about how those powerhouse came to power. I also enjoyed how it addressed the fact that none of the powers could really takeover one another because their power was more or less the same. I loved how Goldstein addressed the smart meaning behind the Party slogans.

Another thing: Winston’s “final trial”. I have to say that Winston being strapped to the chair about to get eaten alive by rats, had me completely freaked out. What an awful way to die.

So, it turns out that in the end, all the Party wanted was for Winston to relinquish his hold on the one thing he said he wouldn’t give up: his love for Julia. And of course he does, in the end. All he wanted was for the rats to go away, and he saw the easy way out and took it.

Now, while I wasn’t particularly fond of Winston’s relationship with Julia, I still think it sad that he gave her up. I understand why, what with the endless torture, but still. I feel bad for Winston and all he was forced to go through.

I have to admit that I enjoyed the ending. It was unusual, and I didn’t expect it, but it made sense and fit to the plot. The way the book ended, showed the power of the Party and it added to the overall theme of the novel. It wasn’t a happy ending but a fit one, and I really like that.

An amazing read that you should definitely check out.

 

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