Book review of 1984 written by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty Four

“O’Brian smiled slightly. You are a flaw in the pattern Winston. You are stain that must be wiped. Did I not tell you just now that we are different from the persecutors of the past? We are not content with negative obedience, not even with the most abject submissions. When finally you surrender to us it must be of you own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us: so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and illusions out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world  however secret and powerless it may be.”

Why I picked this Book?

Nineteen Eighty Four is considered among the best of dystopian novels that has been written. This is one classic dystopian fiction that was written and published way back in 1948-49 portraying how the future of humankind  will be in the year Nineteen Eighty Four. Looking at how things are shaping up in the world and especially in India, the book seems to be prophetic. It has to be read so I picked it up.

The Book

Nineteen Eighty Four is a fictional story built around a totalitarian regime in a distant future and tells the story of a man Winston Smith. He was an outer party member and works in the “Ministry of Truth” or “Minitrue” as they call it in the Newspeak ( official language of the state of Ociana).

Ociana is a one of the three states of the world and is controlled by the party leader BIG BROTHER, who is considered as God by the party members. It is a state where everything is owned by state, everything, even your thoughts. You are always under the eyes of watchful Big Brother through a tele-screen which is always on. The three slogans of the party were:

“War is Peace”       “Freedom is Slavery”     “Ignorance is Strength”

Winston never really likes the party and rebelled against the party and put into jail. The story is how he was brainwashed by the state into believing and loving Big Brother.

The story is about a period  which just saw the the WWII and what it brought to the world. The world has just witnessed the maniacs and totalitarian leaders like Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin. The plot of the book is around the fact that in totalitarian regime there is no freedom, not even freedom of thought and whosoever does not abide by the diktat of the leaders will be made to do so by brainwashing their thought process. 

If we look around we can find the eerie similarity to what is currently happening in our country. People have been brainwashed by constant feeding of fake news and lies, a constant attempt is being made to re-write the history to suit the narrative of people in power, the freedom of speech is curtailed, those who question and raise their voice are being incarcerated. Only a genius can predict and that too almost accurately how things will be down the line fifty years from when he wrote this book.

A captivating story, slow in pace initially but once you get the premise of the story it becomes interesting and captivating.

About the Author

 George Orwell’s real name was Eric Arthur Blair. He was a very popular novelist, essayist, critic and journalist. His works spoke out against the social injustice that was prevalent at that time. He was in favour of democratic socialism and was opposed to totalitarianism. He continues to be held in high esteem as one of the most influential voices of his time, who spoke out about the English culture, as it was, during his lifespan.

Our Verdict

Nineteen Eighty Four is considered among the best of twentieth century. A must read for everyone especially you like reading dystopian fictions.       

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