Because I’m studying Nineteen Eighty-Four for my Honours thesis, I’ve analysed it so much that I can’t actually remember what I initially thought of the novel. I remember reading the ending a few times, because I worried that I wasn’t fully grasping its significance. And then, I remember everyone frowning at me when I told them that this was the first time I’d ever read Nineteen Eighty-Four.
“You haven’t read 1984 before? Where did you go to school, the North Pole?”
“You’re a writer, and yet you haven’t read 1984?”
It’s a thicker book, and it’s not an ‘I’ll just read a few pages before bed’ type of novel. It’s an ‘I’m feeling intellectual today and would like some stimulating material’ type of novel; you need to allocate a chunk of time in order to do it justice.
This dystopian novel was written by George Orwell on his death bed in 1948, and is set in the futuristic 1984. The protagonist, Winston Smith, inwardly defies the oppressive state, led by Big Brother. Winston buys a diary so that he can secretly express free will and thought, and starts an affair with Julia, a woman who works in his building. The novel is rife with irony and internal conflict, and Winston is presented as a fractured but defiant character.
This novel is faultless. The characters are fleshed out, and the development of the storyline is gradual, but needed. The final third of the novel – I won’t ruin it for anyone else who went to school in the North Pole – is powerful, in a way that the reader feels they haven’t quite grasped the meaning of it, yet they know they have. You feel like you have to re-read the novel a few times before you feel that you understand it. Nevertheless, if you have the time to read it, I highly recommend it.
My Score: 10/10
The Next Novel on my List? Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
Nineteen Eighty Four By George Orwell (Download-PDF-Online Reading-Summary): https://www.toevolution.com/file/view/2166/nineteen-eighty-four-by-george-orwell-download-pdf-online-reading-summary
One of the most famous classics of the 20th century, Orwell’s warning story of a man trapped under the gaze of an authoritarian state feels more relevant now than ever.
Winston Smith, a member of the Foreign Party, spends his days rewriting history to fit the narrative that his government wants citizens to create. But as the gap between the propaganda he writes and the reality he lives becomes too difficult for Winston to swallow, he begins to look for some form of escape. His desperate struggle to free himself from a tyrannical, all-encompassing state illuminates the apparent tendencies in every modern society and makes the universal situation of the individual vivid.
One thousand nine hundred and eighty-four, often published in 1984, is a dystopian novel published in 1949 by the English author George Orwell. The novel is set in Airstrip One, formerly Great Britain, a province of the superstar of Oceania, whose residents are victims of perpetual war. omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation. The political ideology of Oceania, euphemistically called English Socialism (shortened to “Ingsoc” in Newspeak, the language invented by the government that will replace the English or Oldspeak) is imposed by the privileged Interior Party elite. Through the “Thought Police”, the Internal Party pursues individualism and independent thinking, which are considered as “thought crimes”.
The tyranny is apparently supervised by a mysterious leader known as Big Brother, who enjoys an intense cult of personality. The Party “seeks power completely by itself, is not interested in the good of others, is only interested in power.” The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Foreign Party, who works for the Ministry of Truth, or Minitrue in Newspeak. Minitrue is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. Smith’s job is to rewrite previous newspaper articles, so the historical record always backs the Party’s agenda. Workers are told that they are correcting wrong citations when they write false information at the scene. Minitrue also destroys all previous editions of the revised work. This method ensures that there is no evidence of government interference. Smith is a diligent and skillful worker, but secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother. Smith begins his acts of rebellion by initiating a sexual relationship with Julia, an employee of the Fiction Department at Minitrue. He received a book by O’Brien, a member of the Interior Party and another rebel, who details the truth behind the actions of the Party. Smith’s attempts at self-education and rebellion are annulled when he is arrested by O’Brien himself. Smith discovers that O’Brien was actually working for the Ministry of Love (Miniluv), the ministry in charge of torturing dissidents. Smith is subjected to many forms of torture and is forced into the terror chamber known as the Room. 101. There he is tortured by his worst fear, the rats, and he is forced to betray Julia. He is released from Miniluv, and Orwell describes his life after his release for the rest of the book. Smith ends the story by watching a military update on the screen and feeling an intense love for Big Brother.