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1984 (Signet Classics) by George Orwell
1984 (Signet Classics)

davidhughes, April 2, 2014

George Orwell’s 1984 is in its own league of its own. The story is about a man named Winston Smith who lives under a totalitarian rule in futuristic London. Winston yearns for more in his life than to work for the Party covering up their lies in the Ministry of Truth. Winston meets a woman named Julia who ignites a rebellious fire inside of him. Winston and Julia eventually are caught and tortured for their crimes against the government. Orwell’s book was written in 1949 during the Soviet rule and after the Nazi collapse. It was written as a warning to the risks of life in total government control. 1984 is like no book I’ve ever read. It is something that can’t be predicted because of how foreign the idea of totalitarianism is. It is very detailed about the daily lives of Winston and others under the control of Big Brother.
George Orwell's 1984 is a book written about the future under a totalitarian government. Big Brother is the supposed leader of the country of Oceania in a world where they are in a constant war with Eastasia and Eurasia. Rockets are casually striking through the city destroying people and their buildings. The government does allow sex or any close relationships. All of the people work for the government and receive very little in return. Hidden microphones and cameras monitor every citizen. Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth, which covers up details for the government. He ends up having a relationship with a girl named Julia and is eventually caught and brainwashed. It is told in order of about a month. Orwell uses small flashbacks and slight foreshadowing to keep the reader thinking. The book is a futuristic story predicting what would happen under totalitarian government. The book develops characters very well and in great detail because the story is told from third person omniscient point of view.
The novel is very slow developing book. Winston starts the story off by briefly describing London and what Big Brother has done and how they monitor their lives with telescreens. The Party creates a bunch of ways to control citizens with Thought Police and Junior Spies. London is a part of England which is part of a larger state called Oceania. Winston works at the Ministry of Truth. Winston's job is to fabricate files for the Party to cover up anything to make them look bad. In Book Two Winston meets a girl named Julia. Winston and Julia begin to have a relationship and are both rebelling against the anti-sex laws. Winston rents a room above Mr. Charrington's shop for him and Julia. Winston assumed that there was no telescreens in the room. Julia and Winston go to meet O'Brien about opposing the Party. O'Brien lies about being a rebel and the Brotherhood that opposes Big Brother. Winston and Julia continue to meet but get caught by a hidden telescreen in Mr. Charrington's room. “One thing alone mattered: to keep still, to keep still and not give them an excuse to hit you." (222-223). Winston's fear of the government is shown through that quote. even the smallest flinch could get him in even greater trouble. Winston and Julia are taken to holding sells where they are submitted to torture and brainwashing. “I’ve got a wife and three children. The biggest of them isn’t even six years old. You can take the whole lot of them and cut their throats in front of my eyes, and I’ll stand by and watch it. But not Room 101!” (237). Room 101 is a room where Winston is tortured by his greatest fear of Rats. The room is feared by many as it is the most extreme disciplinary action the Party takes. Since the government constantly monitors its citizens, they know everyones fears. The book is separated into 3 books, each book gets deeper and deeper into the corruption of the Party.
Orwell's 1984 is a book written to teach people about the dangers of a totalitarian government. Orwell does a wonderful job of creating a world where all citizens are afraid of their government. He is showing readers that no matter how hard they try, their government will always have full control once they give up their rights. When he wrote the book in 1949, the Soviet Union was the closest thing the world had to this government. He wanted to discourage the world from the idea of total government takeover. Orwell does a very convincing job of duplicating communism. He clearly researched the ways of the Soviet government and took it to another level. The reason 1984 is always relevant will be because everything he mentioned is in the capabilities of a government. Orwell develops his main characters very well, we are able to know almost everything about them. There is also no divergence from the plot. Each event is directly related to the development of the plot. He also creates a tone of very gray and boring lifestyles while using his own commentary to keep it interesting.
George Orwell's 1984 is a timeless classic. Winston Smith is very much alike the common person and most people can relate with him. Orwell addresses many issues with government and shows people why they should oppose complete control. Orwell doesn't look to challenge the morality of a single person or their views but merely shows the common world the issues with a communist government. 1984 is a book that will forever be imprinted in my memory because it gives readers an inside look at the struggles of a totalitarian government for an average citizen.
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