Rosie’s Avid readers are people who like reading and have a book to tell us about, they are the voice of a friend who says ” I just read this book….”
Avid Reader’s Thoughts
‘1984’ by George Orwell is undoubtedly a literary ‘classic’, and it is for this reason that I was compelled to read the book in the first place: I felt like I had to. From the first chapter the reader is drawn in to a world that is at once recognisable but at the same time so far from our reality, and it is this disturbingly familiar unfamiliarity that puts you on edge from the very first page.
The book is set in a political world that Orwell imagined ours to become when he wrote it in 1948 (a clever reversal of the dates established the title), and there are therefore many sinister semblances with our life as a modern reader, the presence of racism and class discrimination being examples. Orwell has a very blunt way of describing both settings and characters, going into deep but realistic detail especially with the physical descriptions of the main characters, Winston, Julia and later on, O’Brien. These realistic descriptions therefore create an equally realistic picture of these characters in our minds, and the way even repulsive qualities, such as Winston’s varicose veins, are highlighted by Orwell contribute to this harshly realistic image.
The plot of ‘1984’ involves corruption, deception, political strife and also romance, although the love between the protagonist, Winston, and Julia is presented as something politically necessary and useful, as a way of rebelling against the ‘Party’, rather than as something tender and conventionally romantic. Nonetheless, having a romantic plot thread did make the novel more emotionally relatable, especially to me as a younger reader.
Throughout the novel we are left in the dark in places, and there is a lot of mystery and questions that are left both answered and unanswered; due to this mystery I found the book quite hard to immerse myself in at first, because I was so confused, but after the first few chapters a lot of my major questions were answered and I could follow the story much more closely. However, on hindsight the mystery and wondering, such as not knowing who ‘Big Brother’ was, is what kept me reading, to try and find the answers. The ‘simple’ plot of the novel, if it has one, goes as follows: controlling the world in which the main character, Winston, lives, is the Party, which in turn in led by Big Brother, a symbol of total social repression, control and dominance.
This totalitarian state uses its citizens to rewrite history following the wars, in order to present their enemies, such as Eurasia, as cruel, destructive and inferior, whilst presenting themselves as strong and victorious; this is known as indoctrination. In the end it is these lies and the total loss of political, social and moral freedom (citizens are monitored by cameras, called ‘telescreens’, even when they are sleeping) that Winston wishes to rebel against. However, whilst at first this secret, underground rebellion seems to be both liberating and unnoticed, Winston soon learns that you can trust no one, not even yourself, and that the desires of the Party are much more sinister than he could ever have imagined.
Towards the end of the novel, the tone becomes much darker and more dangerous, with so much action and suspense that I just kept turning the pages; the sinister political and historical relevance of the novel becomes almost unnerving, but makes it much more relatable. Therefore, if you are looking for a novel that is complex, dark, exciting and disturbingly clever, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that you read ‘1984’; it is a literary classic for all of the right reasons.
Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future.
While 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is more timely than ever. 1984 presents a “negative utopia”, that is at once a startling and haunting vision of the world — so powerful that it’s completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of entire generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions — a legacy that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.
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