Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

Wow! What a time to be reading a book such as this! This book would have been just an amazing piece of literature prior to 2020 (or considered a satirical piece), but now in 2021 it seems not so far-fetched and more of a warning than a work of art 🥺 😢. We live in a world of fake news, misinformation and alternative facts, where politicians say something one day and say the exact opposite a couple of days later and deny the fact that they had made an initial and opposing statement on video a few days or weeks or months prior. The world we are living in here in 2021 seems like the beginning of the dystopian reality where the book 1984 is set. This book is a sobering but enjoyable read and my rating is surely 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ as I feel as if I was transported into an alternate yet a somewhat familiar reality.

1984 follows the story of Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party as he navigates this dystopian society with the totalitarian leader Big Brother keeping watch. While some members of society eagerly accept the rule of Big Brother and do not question anything that is going on in society, Winston finds this difficult to do. Winston’s major problem is that he remembers life before Big Brother controlled everyday life in Oceania and this causes him to rebel and question the dystopian society that he lives in. I won’t spoil the book for you but it was interesting to see how Winston navigated this reality 😊.

This classic George Orwell novel was in 2019 named as one of the 100 most influential books of all time by the BBC and for good reason. The books is thought-provoking and scary and it really makes you sit and wonder what type of society we will live in if the truth and independent thinking is suppressed and discouraged. If truth can be manipulated and the past can be edited – inconvenient facts removed, people disappear and are erased from society as if they literally never even existed…… What kind of life will we lead? Truth, independent thinking, freedom of speech are the cornerstones of human sanity, without it, we really are just robots. …. are we even living or just going through the motions, breathe, eat, sleep, work? Just like some members of the Outer Party and Inner Party in this book.

Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right

And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’

In a way, the world-view of The Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane.

George Orwell. Pic courtesy: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/546150/facts-about-george-orwell

While the editing of the past is horrifying and the idea that all persons in the 1984 society had to accept one way of thinking, one truth (even though it was a lie), was atrocious, for me, the concept of “doublethink” was the most mind-blowing and appalling 😵 🤐 🥴. The ability of members of the High Class in this distorted society to accept a lie as the truth in an instant even when this truth was a lie a few seconds prior was surreal. I think the term is best summed up in this quote from the book.

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s minds simultaneously, and accepting both of them. ……. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed…….

This book really was a fantastic read 🥰. This was my first time reading a dystopian book and I enjoyed it. It was engrossing and it is surely a book that you will not want to put down. You want to see what happens in the end, will the Thought Police (there literally are people called the thought police in this book) ever get to Winston? Will society ever change? Is there a happy ending? If you have not read this book, be sure to add this to your list of books to read for 2021… (it is somewhat poignant in times of Covid lockdowns ) such as this 🤗. If you have read it, what did you think of it?

Much Love

Celly

One thought on “Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

  1. It will indeed be a scary mess if independent thinking and thinkers were suppressed or discouraged. This world is messed up enough as it is already and is only getting worst by the minute! Let’s just hope it never gets to this completely and everywhere, because there a some religions and societies that are already living like this. (Hope the now lifted lock restrictions gets you out and about safely, if only for a moment.)

    Like

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