Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

These are the words and ideas found in George Orwell’s classic book 1984 (Nineteen eighty-four). The book was first released in 1949 and it paints a bleak picture of future London in the year 1984.

In this dystopian nightmare every man and woman is being monitored day in, day out. The people are told what to do, what to (not) say and their thoughts are controlled by the thought police, as thoughts against the ruling elite are strictly forbidden. Any hope of rebellion or escape does not exist.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Falling in love is illegal; partners will be chosen for you. The authorities continuously rewrites history and hold people in dark.

In the story we follow a man named Winston who starts to question his predicament. Next he will try to topple men behind the Big Brother.

My Thoughts

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

It’s truly amazing how far George Orwell saw into the future based on what was going on in the 1940’s. Quite a few of his predictions were spot on, and they ring even truer today than before.

The book painted a picture of a future where all people (except the ruling party) were turned into human-drones, forced to live a life of eternal serfdom.

Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.

In the book, the history was rewritten so that there would be no memory of the past. The language itself slowly changed, which lead to people not being able to perform certain actions, due to there not being words to explain those actions. You can’t do what you don’t know.

The story itself may not have had the greatest of endings, as leaving us with a more positive note would have been appreciated. That being said, there was a glimmer of hope found in Winston.

Recommendation

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

George Orwell’s 1984 is one of the most important classics of our time. It might be even more relevant today than it was back in his day. It is a cautionary tale of a future we might be heading towards.

If you haven’t read the book yet, you definitely should consider doing so.

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7 thoughts on “Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

  1. I’m reading this book now and you’re absolutely right! It applies more today than ever before! Censorship on social media and shadowbanning. And it’s just the beginning if we don’t push back and put an end to it. Great post, Joseph!

    Like

    1. Thank you for the comment. Zamyatin’s work played an important role throughout the existence of the Soviet Union, and was also among the first books to be banned by the party. Seems the work also inspired Orwell to write his own book(s).

      Solzhenitsyn mentioned that authors play the role of a “second government” in a nation. These two writers are great examples of that.

      Like

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