Book Reviews

1984 by George Orwell

1984Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Rating: ★★★

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984 is your typical dystopian novel. Right away, I thought of WWII, concentration camps, and censorship. Hitler has nothing on these guys! Every little thing is monitored. You can’t even say what you truly think in front of your children without fear of them turning you into the Thought Police! Individualism is completely taken away.

We see the perspective of this new unending war from our protagonist, Winston Smith, who lives in Oceania (the Americas, the British Isles, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, and Southern Africa below the River Congo). However, Eurasia (Portugal to the Bering Strait) and Eastasia (China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea) are also in constant war with Oceania. There are multiple times throughout the novel where Oceania is allied with Eastasia and then quickly switches over to Eurasia, however, the alliances and wars are constant, so the previous relationships never existed, or so the authorities want you to think! These constant wars are needed to keep the societies in check…hence the war is peace.

The only way to be truly free in 1984 is by completely giving oneself over to the Party. Not letting those thoughts come to mind except those which the Party accepts…pretty much losing your individualism. The freedom received from the Party is similarly enslaving yourself to their views.

As long as no one revolts against the high class, things are doomed to stay the same. The low are stuck as they are. As soon as the high is overthrown by both the middle and low (who hold the majority in numbers), a new middle and high class will emerge and history will repeat itself. Without banning together to overthrow the oppressors, things are bound to stay as they are…ignorance is strength for those in power.

Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.

This quote is a prime example of Winston’s relationship with Julia. Both sharing the same views on authority, they bond. The relationship starts to bloom and becomes physical, but we see Winston is yearning for more on thoughts of the Party, which Julia seems to have no interest in. She is one of those people who is all talk and no action.

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

We see exactly this with Winston’s occupation at the Ministry of Truth. He is forced to literally rewrite history to depict what is currently happening in the world today. I really don’t understand how the people fall for this. Considering I am the worst liar, the Thought Police would be all over me and I’d be a goner.

The best books…are those that tell you what you know already.

Yes! I totally agree. I love when the ending was right in front of your fingertips the whole time (literally!).

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