Saturday, May 24, 2014

Orwell and the End of the World

1984 by George Orwell
Genre: Classic, Dystopian 

"1984 is still the great modern classic of 'Negative Utopia' -a startingly original and haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words."

This is one of those books. Yes. One of those books. The kind of book with an ending that makes you want to bash your head against the rocks. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

This novel is about Winston Smith who lives in a country called Oceania, which is run by the Party. Posters of their president/god, Big Brother, are everywhere, and everything the members of the party do or say and even think are watched. No rebellion or even thought of rebellion goes unnoticed and unpunished.

Winston dislikes the lack of privacy and lack of living in this controlled world, but he has known nothing else. He does not know what is true or not, and any kind of rebellion is impossible. Or so he thinks until he meets another member of the party, a woman named Julia. Will they be able to stay alive and rebel against the party? Will their love survive in this clenched-up place?

I found the world of this book intriguing and yes, horrible. The ideals are so opposite of what makes someone a human, that I wanted to know how the members of this society would react and how they could live in such a horrible place so long without doing anything about it. I was rooting the entire time for the main character to overthrow the government or in some way show them that he was still a human inside.

However, the end of the book ruined it for me. I will not give you any details, of course, but after suffering with Winston through his trials, I was sorely disappointed by the place Orwell left us. And I'm sure he did it for a reason, but...ugh! I do appreciate what Orwell was doing; how he showed the importance of truth, love, and living.

This book was similar to The Hunger Games in several ways, but different in many more. If you liked that book or the dystopian genre, I do recommend you reading this book. But beware of the disappointing/depressing ending.

I give this novel a 2 out of 5 and recommend it for 17 year olds and older because of some gruesome and pysical scenes.

What I learned: There is truth and one reality. War is not peace, nor is slavery freedom. A person can live without actually living, and then is he really a human being anymore?

*If you've already read this book, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, or on any other dystopian novel. Why do people enjoy reading them so much?

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