Book Review : 1984 by George Orwell

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” 
― George Orwell1984

A striking start to one of the famous dystopian novels, with a thought provoking ending, leaving the minds of the readers filled with eerie thoughts. That’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four for ya!

After reading George Orwell’s famous short novel, Animal Farm, I was keen to read his other novel, Nineteen-Eighty-Four (1984) due to its apparent popularity. This novel marks the third among the  top three acclaimed dystopia classics, the other two being ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley & ‘Fahrenheit 451’ by Ray Bradbury written in the 20th Century. Also, I was told by one of my friends on Instagram that you are not literate if you haven’t read 1984 as per her Professor. (Now that’s something to push you to read this book! :P)

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Written in the late 1940s, Nineteen-Eighty-Four is a straightforward portrayal of  harsh and horrid totalitarian rule and it’s frequent attempt to scrutinize people, making them abide the laws. The futuristic world is divided into three parts, Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia, each at war with the other. Oceania is ruled by ‘Big Brother’ who has a watch over all. In other words, people are being watched over, wherever they are, whatever they do, they are being tracked down by the authorities. Governmental laws have been changed, society has been altered to an eerie system which forbid faith & religion. Books are destroyed, history is altered and re-written each day which only praise the glory of Big Brother and his Party. Moreover, marriages are allowed only for the sake of having a child (provided that the couple don’t gain physical pleasure out of it)and any other form of relation  between couples is forbidden.Whatever ‘The Party’ say, is considered as the finest TRUTH, and one has to follow it.  To live in peace and tranquility, one has to obey these laws and prove his loyalty to Big Brother and The Party. Also, The Ministry has a gruesome plan for the rebels.

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Totalitarian rule with  alteration in the informative resources aiming to manipulate people, too bad for society! Existential fear is worst of all fears I know and Orwell has crafted this futuristic story so well, making it realistic in all aspects with a touch of satire. It couldn’t get more terrifying than this to think that it might actually happen in the near future. (Perhaps, it has started, for instance take a look at the case of  present conditions in North Korea).

George Orwell’s prophecy in the novel may come true and that’s what makes me wonder what a genius he were to write about something that might happen in the future, way before his time. While the writing was immensely realistic, there were times where I felt things were too repetitive and could have been omitted and still the novel wouldn’t lose its quality. Nevertheless, the satirical instances in the novel came out as a redeeming factor in the story. Overall I liked it, couldn’t have been better. Recommended to all dystopia lovers! 🙂

My rating : * * * * / 5

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