Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

RATING: StarStarStarStar

Genre: Science Fiction > Dystopia

Challenge: Goodreads – The Filipino Group 100 Favorite Books (January read)

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

*****

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four.

PROPHETIC.

Lemme just say that I became wary of reading award-winning novels after my not-so-good-reading-experience with Never Let me Go by Kashuo Ishiguro. So last January, 1984 is the selected read of Goodreads – The Filipino Group for our book discussion. I was certain that 1984 would bore me to death, so I read it three days before our scheduled Face-to-Face (F2F) discussion. Lo, and behold! I really, really liked 1984. Well, except for the crappy ending.

The story opened with Winston guiltily doubting the perfect society he was in. No singing, dancing, dating, keeping trinkets from the past. Everything and everyone is monitored. Showing emotions, even facial expressions, is not allowed. If caught, he will be evaporated. Despite the restrictions, Winston started his own rebellion by writing in a journal. Yes, reading and writing is not allowed too. Can you imagine?!! They have a gadget called speakwrite; therefore reading and writing is not necessary. Then, Winston started having dreams, dreams he could not afford to get caught with because they are monitored, by the Thought Police. Winston doesn’t know what to do with his conscious/unconscious inner rebellion, but he silently revels in it. Surely, Emmanuel Goldstein and the Brotherhood exist, he thought, and this gave him hope. Then everything changes when Julia communicated with him.

I admit there are parts that are too political for my taste, but I got what Orwell is trying to say. I even agree with him a couple of times. On the other hand, the dystopian world he created for Winston and Julia to live in… my, it was subtly frightening. It was riddled with animosity (kids turning over their parents to the Thought Police), fanatic idealism (O’Brien), and perverted conversion (you will love Big Brother).

1984 twisted my thoughts; it got me thinking how far I will go for self-preservation, for loyalty, for freedom. Dystopia lovers (like me) out there will surely squeal in delight upon reading 1984. Oh, yes. Hopelessness is at the very core of it. Remember: Big Brother is watching you. *evil grin*

We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will.

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

  1. understandable, the title sounds boring. that’s why I didn’t join the group read,hahahah. I have bad experience reading award-winning novels as well. But, is it really good? do you recommend it to me? hehe.

    • Hi Jenna! Yes, i think you will like this, maybe 3 stars? Just don’t read it in one sitting because it is just not possible to consume 1984 that way. take the time to read it, and perhaps read it in a mature way – meaning do not start it with YA dystopia set into your mind. Despite the serious tone of 1984 (with its political propaganda), it is quite enjoyable. Hope you find the guts to read it soon! LOL

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