Orphaned then abandoned by long-term foster carers, teenager Sophie lives with Amy and Matt.Read Review
Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skill fully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow worker, Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.
Written by George Orwell, 1949 - Reveiewed by M.M 2013
George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four tells the story of Winston Smith, a man struggling to make his way in a world where free thought is a crime. Arguably the first book of its genre, this tale of a brutal and totalitarian world was simultaneously intriguing and deeply disturbing…
When it was written, I would assume that Orwell’s intended audience were adults, as some of the concepts in the book can be quite confronting. I would recommend this book to people who are looking to discover the roots of the modern dystopian books we love now, (The Hunger Games for example) but only to those who have a lot of patience. This is not an easy read, and definitely not a feel-good story of love and rebellion conquering all.
The plotline is an interesting one; Winston, a man as average as they come, seeks answers and freedom in a life which is controlled absolutely by the all-powerful ‘Party’ the ones who control the population upon the orders of 'Big Brother'. Throughout his quest for knowledge, he learns many things he wishes he had not, changes his whole perspective on life and even falls in love. However, while great in theory, I found the execution somewhat less appealing. Orwell’s style of writing is unique, and at times is able to portray very vivid emotions and pictures to the reader, yet after a while the lengthy descriptions can get tiring and cloud the events taking place.
When I began reading the book I was expecting a gripping tale of rebellion, mystery and maybe a bit of romance to follow; however as the novel progressed it seemed as if the story just lost its flame. Winston’s rebellious streak and desire to free the minds of his people was lost to his ‘love’ for colleague Julia, a romance that still, even after completing the book makes no sense to me and added nothing to the overall outcome. Towards the end of the novel I dared to hope that maybe, as their rebellion re-ignited somewhat, I would get the page-turning thriller I was hoping for. I’m sad to say that I did not find that the case; the conclusion of the book - with more loose ends than when the story began - was possibly the most unsatisfactory of any book I have ever read.
I will say however, that while Winston may have at times been incredibly slow and had possibly the lowest level of enthusiasm regarding rebellion of any other fictional character; he is quite relatable on a fundamental level. He wishes for a better place for him and those around him, he wants to be free, and he wants to experience love. Admittedly some parts of the novel were extremely tiring, but it was those few sparks of Winston’s humanity that kept me reading.
Setting aside my personal opinion, there is obviously a reason that Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four has been named a classic and is still widely known today. It was a trailblazer as far as fictional works at the time were concerned, and undoubtedly, if not for this book, many modern works we know and love would not exist today.
This book is amazing.
Sad, compelling, different, and very well-written.
Winston Smith is just another man in the world of Oceania. Until he rebels.
Now, if this were a normal book, the rebelling side would win against the totalitarian government, and Winston Smith would go from being just another man, to being a hero. he wild be loved, known, rich, and happy. Everyone would be free again, the true history would be told, not in the way that the Government have made it be, and it would be an equal society.
But is isn't a normal book.
Winston Sith does not win. And no rebellion is ever even known abo
It, as it was done in secret.
He changes to the side of Big Brother. And in the end, even he is wanting and waiting for the bullet to the head.
It is a sad book, but an absolutely brilliant one at that.
Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell – Review by Evangeline K - 9 Red
Prepare to experience a future where individual thought is history. Every single human being is trapped under constant surveillance. Every move and every word is continuously monitored and scrutinised. To simply consider the concept of crime would justify certain death. George Orwell presents us with a chilling prophecy, describing an uncomfortably realistic future. Orwell proves that it is possible to deliver a compelling story without any presence of hope.
We are first introduced to a shy, introverted character called Winston, who struggles to contemplate his dull and meaningless existence. Strangled by poverty and suffocated by intrusive mind control, he begins to question the nature of society and challenge its very existence. The world as we know it has spiralled out of control into the depths of unwavering totalitarianism. Communication between the newly divided three super-states; Oceania, Eastasia and Eurasia, is non-existent, ultimately creating three self-contained worlds. With equal power held by each of the super-states, a constant war exists purely to ensure the survival of a hierarchical society. Behind all this, lies a conniving few that head a political party which devises a method to alter history, destroy the English language in an effort to abolish the expression of thought, and a way to wipe a person out of existence. After meeting a man called O’Brien who takes an interest in Winston’s abnormal behaviour, he presents him with a book on the works of society believed to be written by a revolutionary of the time, and allows him to pursue the existence of an ‘underground’ brotherhood. In an attempt at a forbidden romance and an act of rebellion against the party, Winston meets a likeminded woman called Julia and together they share in an intimate conspiracy against the party. Quickly the story sinks to a depressing level, as they are both subjected to horrific torture. The ruthless leaders of the party acknowledge their predecessors and succeed where Hitler and the idea of communism failed. Their ultimate victory isn’t simply to kill the enemy but to alter their state of mind and force them to adopt their way of thinking.
This captivating tale has entertained readers for over 50 years and has brought up the discussion of sophisticated issues and scenarios that have indeed, a possibility to come true. George Orwell has succeeded in fabricating a world so powerfully intense that it is convincing from start to finish.
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
Set in a dystopian future, under the totalitarian rule of the enigmatic figure head Big Brother, Winston Smith, the protagonist of the novel works to rewrite the past events to suit the needs of the Party. He is watched constantly, thoughts brings about torture and all acts of love between family and between partners has been abolished, yet still Winston risks everything in a search for free will and liberty. The novel follows a mans experiences in rebellion, love and a ploy for the truth, but soon Winston discovers that the only way to obtain freedom is to ultimately betray the person he loves most. The party is a controlling, demanding group and the novel hooks you in before the first sentence is finished. Nineteen Eighty-Four was a brilliant, well written novel that can simultaneously frustrate, please, excite and frighten any reader. It is highly recommended that you should read this book, based on the originality of the plot and the style of writing used by George Orwell. Even after the final chapter is read and the book is closed, you are left with the constant feeling that..
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING.