February 12, 2009

1984 by George Orwell

There are some books that I just think that everyone should read. When I talk about one of these titles, I'm shocked when someone hasn't read it, but I'm even more shocked if they haven't heard of it. Recently, I was saying something about Big Brother, and then said something else about how it wasn't a random allusion as I'm reading the book right now. When my friend said, "What book?" and then "I've never heard of it" when I told her which book, I was worried.

In case you, my dear reader, are like my friend, I'm writing this review for you. Perhaps you'll still never read the book, but you at least need to know what it's about as you'll find allusions to it everywhere.

Ever since I read it in high school, 1984 has been one of my favorite books. The book takes place in 1984 (30 years after it was written) in one of three world powers: Oceania, which is comprised of the Americas, Australia, part of Africa, and the British Isles. Oceania is a stricter police state than any one ever known to man: there is even a thought police that seeks out those who even have thoughts against the country's ruling inner party. Every room has a telescreen: a television that they can use to watch and hear your every move and your every noise.

Winston Smith finds himself locked into this world that he knows is wrong. He himself works as someone who rewrites history, changing "facts" in past newspaper articles to reflect the current state of things. He is obsessed with finding ways to undermine the controlling party, headed by "Big Brother."

I enjoy two things about this book: first, it's presentation of Orwell's anti-totalitarian thoughts is fascinating. Secondly, at some point in the book, Winston realizes that truth is truth, regardless of whether anyone else believes it to be true.

This book also holds the honor as a book that has made me cry at it's ending each time I've read it, though it's not a dramatic book like others that make me cry. To explain further would be to give too much away.

So, if you haven't read 1984, I really think you need to!


  1. Thankfully, I have heard of Orwell's books, but you know what? I haven't read any of them!! Perhaps I will start with this one.

  2. i tried reading this book several times before i actually managed to do it, and even then it was because i was trapped in the back seat of a car for seven hours.

    it's really good, it just took me a long time to get into it.

    i know what you mean though, the ending gets me too.

    i watched the movie a while ago as well, also good - though not as. and if you've seen the movie and also "V for Vendetta" then you'll enjoy the irony of the casting for V. ;)

  3. (sorry, V the movie, not V the character)

  4. Jacki, I would definitely recommend it. Like I Am The Diva said, it can be a little hard to get into, but it's definitely worth it. Though if you're wanting to read Orwell, Animal Farm is also a great read. "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." Classic.

  5. I'm with you, it's crazy to think that people haven't all read this book. Such a basis for so much of how we communicate today. And besides, it's short!

  6. I read this book when I was in high school and did not like it at all. I thought it was dark and hopeless. Maybe this is because I like happy endings, or maybe I was just young and naieve and if I were to read it again I would appreciate it more.

  7. I decided to read this book in high school because of the title - my birth year. But I was very fascinated by the message. And since I read it just after reading Fahrenheit 451 the two will always be linked in my head. Truth and books. Expression and books. Freedom and books. etc.

  8. I had to read one of Orwell's novels Animal Farm a couple years ago for school. Ugh, I really didn't like that book, probably not because of the story itself, but our teacher constantly made us analyze each part. But I also really didn't like the story because it made me so angry, since I really hated those pigs! Haha. Hmm, maybe 1984 will make me like Orwell's books though, as I only hear good things about that book.

  9. I would love 1984 by George Orwell
    Thansk for this gibeaway ;o)
    Shawna Lewis


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