A NovelBook - 1977
From the critics
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And even technological progress only happens when its products can in some way be used for diminution of human liberty. In all the useful arts the world’s either standing still or going backwards.
He felt as though he were wandering the forests of the sea bottom, lost in a monstrous world where he himself was the monster. He was alone. The past was dead, the future was unimaginable. What certainty had he that a single human now living was on his side? (page 23)
"He remembered how once he had been walking down a crowded street when a tremendous shout of hundreds of voices women's voices--had burst from a side-street a little way ahead. It was a great formidable cry of anger and despair, a deep, loud 'Oh-o-o-o-oh!' that went humming on like the reverberation of a bell. His heart had leapt. It's started! he had thought. A riot! The proles are breaking loose at last! When he had reached the spot it was to see a mob of two or three hundred women crowding round the stalls of a street market, with faces as tragic as though they had been the doomed passengers on a sinking ship. But at this moment the general despair broke down into a multitude of individual quarrels. It appeared that one of the stalls had been selling tin saucepans."
“Big Brother is Watching You.”
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.
“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”
“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
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Orwell’s 1984 features a country where citizen’s are constantly surveilled by the government in the country of Oceania. People opposing the government and the party constantly disappear and their existence is erased to make sure citizens know what their fate will be if they try to speak out or create change. The novel criticizes authoritarian governments that were forming when the book was written, such as Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union and Adolf Hitler’s Nazi germany. Orwell uses the surveillance and suppression of the authoritarian government to stress how important free speech and thought is for maintaining a free society where popular sovereignty, a government run by the people is, is maintained.
In future written in a time long past, but ahead of its time, George Orwell speculates on a time where the government owns media, information, and you. This novel is a chilling exploration of themes and politics we face today. Imagine the government changing history to benefit their narrative. We don't need to, it's happening. Imagine if the government observed your web browsing, texts, phone conversations, etc. They technically do right now. Imagine if the government controlled media and hyped themselves over other nations, while excluding "the grass is greener on the other side" stories. Any time a politician denounces the media for reporting the truth, while trying to pass their narrative as the only truth speaks to this idea. Propaganda is rampant in our media.
Sure we don't have posters advertising that "Big Brother" is watching us, but this novel is on point regarding the complacency a society can have to the stripping of their freedoms as long as they our brain washed.
Orwell had a daunting task: creating a future nearly half a century away from the time period in which he was writing. This future had to be its own complex, independent society, but it also had to be the natural end result of the totalitarianism Orwell witnessed in the communist and socialist regimes of World War II. That's part of the horror of 1984: this future is a recognizable one, even in the 21st century. It's easy to see how those in control can, through manipulation and propaganda, maintain that control simply for the sake of sating their own power hunger. It's easy to say "no one could ever tell me what to think or what to do," but the Party's use of Big Brother, the Thought Police, the Two-Minute Hate, and Doublethink make it easy to see how a person's ability to think independently and discern fiction from reality can be eroded when there is no touchstone to fact. Revising and rewriting the past to make certain that Big Brother and the Party are always correct has effectively eliminated historical accuracy. How can one think and reason in a society where everything is a fabrication?
Winston, a member of the straight forward, controlled society we now live in 1984, begins to question Big Brother, along with a collegue of his. The two of them get information and try to take down Big Brother themselves, however with the help of a betrayel Big Brother catches on to their plans. Using the dark methods of Double think and the haunting room 101, both Winston and his collegue are 'barinwashed' as the rest of society is, and taken over by Big Brother
Nineteen Eighty-four is about a Utopian society set in that year. In this society the government controls everything, including the past, the present, the future, privacy and language. Citizens are controlled by fear and brainwashing, and are always under direct supervision by telescreens, allowing little to no privacy. The novel revolves around a member of the society by the name of Winston. Winston is a relatively average member who, throughout the course of the novel, begins to secretly rebel against his government.
Sexual Content: Contains sex throughout. However, it is not particularly graphic. But it is throughout. There are some sex scenes, references, prostitutes (Man has a dream about going to a 60 year old prostitute: Disturbing) Sex talk throughout.