- Author: George Orwell
- File Size: 2506 KB
- Print Length: 237 pages
- Publisher: e-artnow (February 20, 2017)
- Publication Date: February 20, 2017
- Language: English
This carefully crafted ebook: “1984 (Modern Classics Series)” is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents.
1984 is a political and dystopian science-fiction novel set in Airstrip One, a province of the superstate Oceania. It is a mind-numbing world which in a state of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation. Dictated by a political system, called Ingsoc, the lives of its people is under the control of privileged elite of the “Inner Party” which persecutes individualism and independent thinking as “thought crime.” Due to the novel’s huge popularity, many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2 + 2 = 5, and memory hole, have entered into common use since its publication in 1949. It has also popularised the adjective “Orwellian”, which describes official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of recorded history by a totalitarian or authoritarian state.
George Orwell (1903-1950) whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.
Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell’s nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff’s attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell’s prescience of modern life–the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language–and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written.
Novel by George Orwell, published in 1949 as a warning about the menaces of totalitarianism. The novel is set in an imaginary future world that is dominated by three perpetually warring totalitarian police states. The book’s hero, Winston Smith, is a minor party functionary in one of these states. His longing for truth and decency leads him to secretly rebel against the government. Smith has a love affair with a like-minded woman, but they are both arrested by the Thought Police. The ensuing imprisonment, torture, and reeducation of Smith are intended not merely to break him physically or make him submit but to root out his independent mental existence and his spiritual dignity. Orwell’s warning of the dangers of totalitarianism made a deep impression on his contemporaries and upon subsequent readers, and the book’s title and many of its coinages, such as NEWSPEAK, became bywords for modern political abuses.
This is one of the first books I have read more than once. I first read “1984” in 1985 and now for the second time in 2018. The book has remained the same, but both the world and I have not. I cannot begin to convey how genuinely frightening this book is. I am a lover of popular science fiction and am astounded by Orwell’s ability to be more compelling, entertaining and engrossing than authors with the benefit of light sabers, phasers and teleportation.
To every young person who has been assigned this book, know that you are reading a literary work of art. Many of you will understand and appreciate it, but if you love literature, please make a mental note to read this again when you are older. Youth brings with it eternal hope, boundless optimism and of course, hormones, so you will find yourself rebelling against the pessimism of the book itself – you will effectively be Winston raging against the machine, hoping, searching, questing for a way out. In short, you will cheat.
But when you get older, have a family, lose loved ones and see some of your dreams unfulfilled – when you witness entire nations and races of peoples born, live and die in brutal squalor – when you reflect on the technological advances made over the decades and gaze, with mouth agape, at how a people can be less advanced, less informed and less enlightened, not despite these innovations, but BECAUSE of them, then you will read 1984 as it was meant to be read…not as a dark, dystopian world you enter when you open the book, but a beautifully brutal warning that, even as you read it, is prophetically coming true around you.
1984 is a thrilling classic novel by George Orwell that brings readers into a dystopian society where citizens know “Big brother is watching you.” (Orwell 2) The book follows Winston Smith as he secretly denounces the all-powerful government, Big Brother, and decides to live a daring life of scandals and secrets. As expected, Big Brother catches Winston, and tortures him ruthlessly until he is a shell of his former self. Although the storyline itself is exhilarating enough to make readers want to turn the next page, it’s really the larger message that makes this read so worthwhile: extreme political philosophies, like Big Brothers’ totalitarianism, are no good. I will admit at times I felt I didn’t even like Winston, like when he first saw Julia, his lover, and told her “I hated the sight of you…I wanted to rape you and then murder you afterwards.” which shows misogyny in the most unsettling way, and when he kept dismally repeating that “there was no escape” from death because of his love affair (Orwell 120, 152).
Regardless of whether or not the characters are relatable, the book definitely serves as a cautionary tail to all those who have scanned it pages. This book has many horrifying elements and scenes, such as telescreens, the things constantly watching people even in their own homes. Newspeak, Big Brother’s official language, is also very unsettling, as the government controls what people say and think without them realizing it, because the words to think bad thoughts do not even exist. However, limited language and stalking screens are nothing compared to the awful dehumanization that Big Brother inflicts on those who don’t agree with them. When brought to room 101 in the Ministry of Love (how ironic of a name), Smith was subjected to “the worst thing in the world,” as O’Brien recalled, almost killing Winston using his worst fear (Orwell 283). This turned Winston into what seemed like an animal with rabies, and after this punishment (in which he was spared death because he betrayed his lover Julia) he was never the same.
Perhaps, though, the scariest thing about this novel was that I didn’t find it all that scary. Many things Orwell brilliantly predicted are a reality now, like cameras in the pockets of nearly every person in a developed country that could potentially “see” and “hear” everything. Phones like the iPhone not only have fingerprints (for touch identification) but now are starting to delve into the world of facial recognition, and no one truly knows for sure where this information goes.
We see far worse things than Winston saw in the Ministry of Love by simply turning on the news. Nations like North Korea have complete control over their citizens, and the saddest part is, these citizens are too shielded from reality to even know that there is something wrong with the way they are treated. People also have the tendency to blindly trust whatever the media says, which could just be another way us people are manipulated every day.