George Orwell’s 1984 has been read and studied since it was written in the 1940s. To think of this novel as being written over 50 years ago, is mind-blowing to say the least.
Winston Smith is a resident of Oceania and member of the Outer Party. His live consists of routine: he wakes up, goes to work, comes home, but things quickly take a turn when he decides to do something no Outer Party member should do: think. Purchasing a diary and then writing down his thoughts are only the beginning for Winston’s struggle against the Party’s Big Brother. Things are never quite what they seem and Big Brother is ALWAYS in control, despite what Winston believes, or thinks that he believes.
Orwell’s work of political and dystopian science fiction has readers believing in a world of constant surveillance, limited individual choices, and perpetual war.
So this took be a while to finish, but not because it wasn’t interesting. I had a Literary Theory course that required me to read almost an entire textbook each week. I wish I would have been required to read this in high school, because I feel like I’ve been left out of this elite club my whole life.
Also, I incorporated this novel into 1 of the papers I had to write for that class, so I had to go back a few times to look for specific moments and highlight/quote/paraphrase.
The story takes place in an imagined 1984 (hence the title), but it is important to understand that this novel was written in the 1940s. Considering how long ago it was written, Orwell got a lot of information right as far as technology.
Orwell’s Oceania is real. Big Brother is real. If there were ever a book that made me question what I considered reality, this was it. It makes me wonder with the extent of technological advances we have now in 2016, how much of what I do on a daily basis is watched by someone.
Especially the chapter that came from Goldstein’s “Brotherhood” book. It felt like I was reading a history book, which was boring, but realistic. I did not even mind the extremely long chapters so much because it felt real.
I have watched the movie and I must say, it matches most of the novel. The book, of course, was better though because my imagination kicked into overdrive in some of the scenes that were cut from the film. The torture Winston goes through after his capture was real and I felt like I shouldn’t be watching/reading.
I feel like if I start discussing it, I will completely give the entire story away!
The chapters are long. Some agonizingly long, but all is forgiven because I did get sucked in & before I knew it the chapter was done.
There are also some unanswered questions in the end, for me. I want to know what happened to Julia. I want more information on her life while we were following Winston’s. I want to know what happens to Winston. I want a sequel or another dozen chapters to tell me what happens next. Does Big Brother stay in control? Does Oceania stay at war? Does Winston love/hate the Party?
Alas, I will never truly know.