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1984

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De tous les carrefours importants, le visage à la moustache noire vous fixait du regard. Il y en avait un sur le mur d'en face. BIG BROTHER VOUS REGARDE, répétait la légende, tandis que le regard des yeux noirs pénétrait les yeux de WINSTON... Au loin, un hélicoptère glissa entre les toits, plana un moment, telle une mouche bleue, puis repartit comme une flèche, dans un De tous les carrefours importants, le visage à la moustache noire vous fixait du regard. Il y en avait un sur le mur d'en face. BIG BROTHER VOUS REGARDE, répétait la légende, tandis que le regard des yeux noirs pénétrait les yeux de WINSTON... Au loin, un hélicoptère glissa entre les toits, plana un moment, telle une mouche bleue, puis repartit comme une flèche, dans un vol courbe. C'était une patrouille qui venait mettre le nez aux fenêtres des gens. Mais les patrouilles n'avaient pas d'importance. Seule comptait la Police de la Pensée.


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De tous les carrefours importants, le visage à la moustache noire vous fixait du regard. Il y en avait un sur le mur d'en face. BIG BROTHER VOUS REGARDE, répétait la légende, tandis que le regard des yeux noirs pénétrait les yeux de WINSTON... Au loin, un hélicoptère glissa entre les toits, plana un moment, telle une mouche bleue, puis repartit comme une flèche, dans un De tous les carrefours importants, le visage à la moustache noire vous fixait du regard. Il y en avait un sur le mur d'en face. BIG BROTHER VOUS REGARDE, répétait la légende, tandis que le regard des yeux noirs pénétrait les yeux de WINSTON... Au loin, un hélicoptère glissa entre les toits, plana un moment, telle une mouche bleue, puis repartit comme une flèche, dans un vol courbe. C'était une patrouille qui venait mettre le nez aux fenêtres des gens. Mais les patrouilles n'avaient pas d'importance. Seule comptait la Police de la Pensée.

30 review for 1984

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    This book is far from perfect. Its characters lack depth, its rhetoric is sometimes didactic, its plot (well, half of it anyway) was lifted from Zumyatin’s We, and the lengthy Goldstein treatise shoved into the middle is a flaw which alters the structure of the novel like a scar disfigures a face. But in the long run, all that does not matter, because George Orwell got it right. Orwell, a socialist who fought against Franco, watched appalled as the great Soviet experiment was reduced to a This book is far from perfect. Its characters lack depth, its rhetoric is sometimes didactic, its plot (well, half of it anyway) was lifted from Zumyatin’s We, and the lengthy Goldstein treatise shoved into the middle is a flaw which alters the structure of the novel like a scar disfigures a face. But in the long run, all that does not matter, because George Orwell got it right. Orwell, a socialist who fought against Franco, watched appalled as the great Soviet experiment was reduced to a totalitarian state, a repressive force equal in evil to Fascist Italy or Nazi Germany. He came to realize that ideology in an authoritarian state is nothing but a distraction, a shiny thing made for the public to stare at. He came to realize that the point of control was more control, the point of torture was more torture, that the point of all their "alternative facts" was to fashion a world where people would no longer possess even a word for truth. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever. Orwell’s vision of the world is grim; too grim, some would argue, for it may deprive the faint-hearted among us of hope. But Orwell never wanted to take away hope. No, he wished to shock our hearts into resistance by showing us the authoritarian nightmare achieved: a monument of stasis, a tribute to surveillance and control. Here, in the USA, in 2017, our would-be totalitarians are a long way from stasis. Right now they’re stirring up chaos and confusion, spreading lies and then denying they spread them, hoping to gaslight us into a muddle of helplessness and inactivity. They are trying to destroy a vigorous democracy, and they know it will take much chaos and confusion to bring that democracy down. They hate us most when we march together, when we occupy senate offices and jam the congressional switchboard, when we congregate in pubs and coffee houses and share our outrage and fear, for they know that freedom thrives on solidarity and resistance, and that solidarity and resistance engender love and hope. They much prefer it when we brood in solitude, despairing and alone. Which reminds me...one of the things we should never do is brood about the enemy’s ideology (Is Steve Bannon a Fascist? A Nazi? A Stalinist?), for while we try to discern his “ideological goals,” the enemy is busy pulling on his boots, and his boots are made with hobnails, with heel irons, and equipped with toecaps of steel. Finally, it does not matter who heads up the authoritarian state: a bully boy like Mussolini, a strutting coprophiliac like Hitler, a Napoleonic pig like Stalin, or a brainless dancing bear like Trump. Whatever the current incarnation of “Big Brother” may be, the goal is always the same: A nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting - three hundred million people all with the same face.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Silvana

    WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. Those words keep sounding in my head since I read this book. Gosh, probably the most haunting not to mention frightening book I've ever read. 1984 should also be included in the horror genre. 1984 describes a Utopia. Not Thomas More's version of Utopia, but this is one is the antithesis, i.e. Dystopia. Imagine living in a country, whose leaders apply a totalitarian system in regulating their citizen, in the most extreme ways, which make WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. Those words keep sounding in my head since I read this book. Gosh, probably the most haunting not to mention frightening book I've ever read. 1984 should also be included in the horror genre. 1984 describes a Utopia. Not Thomas More's version of Utopia, but this is one is the antithesis, i.e. Dystopia. Imagine living in a country, whose leaders apply a totalitarian system in regulating their citizen, in the most extreme ways, which make Hitler, Mao, Stalin and that old bloke in V for Vendetta look like sissies. Working, eating, drinking, sleeping, talking, thinking, procreating...in short living, all are controlled by the state. Any hint of obedience or dislike can be detected by various state apparatus such as the Thought Police, telescreen, or even your children, who will not hesitate to betray you to the authorities. Even language is modified in such ways that you cannot express yourself, since individualism is a crime. The past is controlled, rewritten into something that will strengthen the incumbent ruler. Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present, controls the past. There is no real truth. The "truth" is what the state says it is. Black is white, 2+2=5, if the state says so. The world in 1984 is divided into three states, originated from the ashes from World War II: Oceania (British Isles, the Americas, Pacific, Australia), Eurasia (Europe & Russia), and Eastasia (the rest of it). Continuous warfare between those three (who hold similar ideologies) is required to keep the society's order and peace. Si vis pacem para bellum. That's describes the first slogan. The second slogan, freedom is slavery, means the only way to be free is by letting you lose yourself and to be integrated within the Party. That way, you'll be indestructible and immortal. Ignorance is strength, means the division on high, middle, low classes in society will never be changed. The middle wants to be the high and they'll act "on behalf of the low" to dethrone the high. Afterwards, a new middle class arises, all will change except the low. The high and middle make and uphold the law, the low (proletarian) is just too stupid to revolt. The state maintains its structure by torture, intimidation, violence, and brainwashing. Blimey, Orwell's Animal Farm is already depressing, but 1984 gives "depression" a new meaning, at least for me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    In George Orwell's 1984, Winston Smith is an open source developer who writes his code offline because his ISP has installed packet sniffers that are regulated by the government under the Patriot Act. It's really for his own protection, though. From, like, terrorists and DVD pirates and stuff. Like every good American, he drinks Coca-Cola and his processed food has desensitized his palate to all but four flavors: sweet, salty-so-that-you-will-drink-more-coca-cola, sweet, and Cooler Ranch!(tm). In George Orwell's 1984, Winston Smith is an open source developer who writes his code offline because his ISP has installed packet sniffers that are regulated by the government under the Patriot Act. It's really for his own protection, though. From, like, terrorists and DVD pirates and stuff. Like every good American, he drinks Coca-Cola and his processed food has desensitized his palate to all but four flavors: sweet, salty-so-that-you-will-drink-more-coca-cola, sweet, and Cooler Ranch!(tm). His benevolent overlords have provided him with some war happening somewhere for some reason so that he, and the rest of the population, can be sure that the government is really in his best interests. In fact, the news always has some story about Paris Hilton or yet another white girl who has been abducted by some evil bastard who is biologically wired by 200,000 years of human evolution to fuck 12-year-olds, but is socially conditioned to be obsessed with sex, yet also to feel guilty about it. This culminates into a distorted view of sexuality, and results in rape and murder, which both make for very good news topics. This, too, is in Winston's best interests because, while fear is healthy, thinking *too* much about his own mortality is strictly taboo, as it may lead to something dangerously insightful, and he might lose his taste for Coca Cola and breast implants. The television also plays on his fears of the unknown by exaggerating stereotypes of minorities and homosexuals, under the guise of celebrating "diversity", but even these images of being ghetto-fabulous and a lisping interior designer actually exist solely to promote racism and homophobia, which also prove to be efficient distractions. For some reason, Winston gets tired of eating recycled Pop Tarts and eating happy pills and pretending to be interested in sports and manufactured news items. But, in the end, they fix him and he's happy again. Or something.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Wiswell

    1984 is not a particularly good novel, but it is a very good essay. On the novel front, the characters are bland and you only care about them because of the awful things they live through. As a novel all the political exposition is heavyhanded, and the message completely overrides any sense of storytelling. As an essay, the points it makes can be earthshaking. It seems everyone who has so much as gotten a parking ticket thinks he lives in a 1984-dystopia. Every administration that reaches for 1984 is not a particularly good novel, but it is a very good essay. On the novel front, the characters are bland and you only care about them because of the awful things they live through. As a novel all the political exposition is heavyhanded, and the message completely overrides any sense of storytelling. As an essay, the points it makes can be earthshaking. It seems everyone who has so much as gotten a parking ticket thinks he lives in a 1984-dystopia. Every administration that reaches for power, injures civil liberties or collaborates too much with media is accused of playing Big Brother. These are the successes of 1984's paranoia, far outliving its original intent as a battery against where Communism was going (Orwell was a severely disappointed Marxist), and while people who compare their leaders to Big Brother are usually overreaching themselves and speak far away from Orwell's intent and vision, it is a useful catchcloth for dissent. Like so many immortalized books with a social vision, 1984's actual substance is so thin that its ideologies and fear-mongering aspects can be stretched and skewed to suit the readers. If you'd like a better sense of the real world and Orwell's intents, rather than third-hand interpretations of his fiction, then his Homage to Catalonia is highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    I'm gonna ask myself a mandatory question and say nothing more. Why the fuck had I not read this book before?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    I am a big fan of speculative fiction and in my literary travels I have encountered a myriad of dystopias, anti-utopias and places and societies that make one want to scream and..... ...(with or without contemporaneous loss of bladder and other bodily functions).... Simply put, George Orwell's 1984 is unquestionably the most memorable and MOST DISTURBING vision of a world gone mad utterly bat-shit psycho that I have ever experienced. Ever!!! Despite being published back in 1948, I have yet to I am a big fan of speculative fiction and in my literary travels I have encountered a myriad of dystopias, anti-utopias and places and societies that make one want to scream and..... ...(with or without contemporaneous loss of bladder and other bodily functions).... Simply put, George Orwell's 1984 is unquestionably the most memorable and MOST DISTURBING vision of a world gone mad utterly bat-shit psycho that I have ever experienced. Ever!!! Despite being published back in 1948, I have yet to find a more chilling, nightmarish locale than Orwell's iconic world of BIG BROTHER and INGSOC. The very mention of either of those terms invokes images of Nazis and Soviet gulags in my mind. Yet Orwell's creation is in many ways even more insidious than these real-world bogeymen. I first read this book when I was 12 years old in 7th grade as a...get this...class reading assignment. Looking back on it, I have NO IDEA why on Earth we were reading this book at that age but I do recall we spent quite a bit of time discussing it. I wish I could recall the substance of those discussions because I can only imagine the kind of PIERCING INSIGHT that a group of hormonally challenged pre-teens thought up in regards to this book. Needless to say, I think that this is a book that is best appreciated AFTER your first pimple. Anyway, I decided to re-read this book recently as an adult in the hopes that I would be able to gain a great appreciation for this classic. Well, the book did more than that. IT ABSOLUTELY FLOORED ME. From the very first sentence, "It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen" to the unforgettable final sentence (which I will not give away here), this story sucked me in, beat the living shit out of me and through me out the other side a hollow, wasted wreck. I know, it doesn't sound very cheery, but it is a life-changing experience. I have always thought that one of the best and most important qualities of science fiction is that it frees the author to take the controversial, politically charged issues and trends of the day and create a possible future based on exaggerations of such trends and in so doing present a compelling and critical argument for change. Well NO ONE has ever done a better job than better Orwell in showing the possible nightmare (and thus potential danger) of a society without basic civil liberties and a government with complete and unchallenged control. This book is bleak, dreary, frightening, upsetting and absolutely BRILLIANT and one of my "All Time Favorite" novels. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!! 6.0 stars. ...........REMEMBER, BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.............

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jesse (JesseTheReader)

    This was an up and down kind of read for me. There were parts that I really enjoyed and parts that I found extremely difficult to maneuver through. I'm glad that I decided to pick it up and give it a go, because it's one that I've been curious about for a long time. I can definitely see why so many people love this book. It explores a lot of things that we see happening in the world today. I can't say I'm leaving it as a massive fan, but I'm sure it's one that I'll continue to think about.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lyndsey

    YOU. ARE. THE. DEAD. Oh my God. I got the chills so many times toward the end of this book. It completely blew my mind. It managed to surpass my high expectations AND be nothing at all like I expected. Or in Newspeak "Double Plus Good." Let me preface this with an apology. If I sound stunningly inarticulate at times in this review, I can't help it. My mind is completely fried. This book is like the dystopian Lord of the Rings, with its richly developed culture and economics, not to mention a fully YOU. ARE. THE. DEAD. Oh my God. I got the chills so many times toward the end of this book. It completely blew my mind. It managed to surpass my high expectations AND be nothing at all like I expected. Or in Newspeak "Double Plus Good." Let me preface this with an apology. If I sound stunningly inarticulate at times in this review, I can't help it. My mind is completely fried. This book is like the dystopian Lord of the Rings, with its richly developed culture and economics, not to mention a fully developed language called Newspeak, or rather more of the anti-language, whose purpose is to limit speech and understanding instead of to enhance and expand it. The world-building is so fully fleshed out and spine-tinglingly terrifying that it's almost as if George travelled to such a place, escaped from it, and then just wrote it all down. I read Fahrenheit 451 over ten years ago in my early teens. At the time, I remember really wanting to read 1984, although I never managed to get my hands on it. I'm almost glad I didn't. Though I would not have admitted it at the time, it would have gone over my head. Or at the very least, I wouldn't have been able to appreciate it fully. From the start, the author manages to articulate so many of the things I have thought about but have never been able to find a way to put into words. Even in the first few chapters I found myself having to stop just to quietly consider the words of Mr Orwell. For instance, he talks about how the act of writing itself is a type of time travel. It is communicating with the future. I write these words now, but others may not discover them for hours, weeks, or even years. For me, it is one time. For you the reader, it is an entirely different one. Just the thought that reading and writing could one day be outlawed just shivers my timbers. I related to Winston so much in that way. I would have found a way to read or write. The politics and psychology of this novel run deep. The society in the book has no written laws, but many acts are punishable by death. The slogan of the Party (War is Peace...) is entirely convoluted. Individuality is frowned upon and could lead to being labeled a traitor to the Party. I also remember always wondering why the title was 1984. I was familiar with the concept of Big Brother and wondered why that wasn't the name of the book. In the story, they don't actually know what year it is because so much of the past has been erased by the Ministry of Truth. It could very easily have been 1981. I think that makes the title more powerful. Something as simple as the year or date is unknown to these people. They have to believe it is whatever day that they are told it is. They don't have the right to keep track. Knowledge is powerful. Knowledge is necessary. But according to Big Brother. Ignorance is strength. 1984 is written in past tense and has long paragraphs of exposition, recounting events, and explaining the society. These are usually things that distance me from a book and from the characters, but Orwell managed to keep me fully enthralled. He frequently talks in circles and ideas are often repeated but it is still intriguing, none the less. I must admit that I zoned out a bit while Winston was reading from The Book, but I was very fascinated by the culture. Sometimes it seems as though the only way to really experience a characters emotions is through first person. This is not the case with this book, as it is written in third person; yet, I never failed to be encompassed in Winston's feelings. George manages to ensure that the reader never feels disconnected from the events that are unfolding around them, with the exception of the beginning when Winston is just starting to become awakened. I developed a strong attachment to Winston and thrived on living inside his mind. I became a member of the Thought Police, hearing everything, feeling everything and last but not least, (what the Thought Police are not allowed to do) questioning everything. I wasn't expecting a love story in this book, but the relationship between Julia and Winston was truly profound. I enjoyed it even more than I would have expected and thought the moments between them were beautiful. I wasn't sure whether he was going to eventually betray Julia to the Party or not, but I certainly teared up often when it came to their relationship. George has an uncanny ability to get to the base of the human psyche, at times suggesting that we need to be at war for many different reasons, whether it's at war with ourselves or with others. That is one thing I have never understood: why humans feel the need to destroy and control each other. It seems that the main and recurring message in this book is about censorship and brainwashing. One, censorship, is limited and little exposure to ideas of the world; the other, brainwashing, is forced and too much exposure to a certain ideas. Both can be extremely dangerous. Inside the ministry of Truth, he demonstrates the dangers of censorship by showing how the Party has completely rewritten the past by forging and abolishing documents and physical evidence. We also spend quite a bit of time with Winston in the Ministry of Love, where the brainwashing takes place. Those who commit thoughtcrime are tortured until they grow to love and obey Big Brother and serve only the interests of the Party. A common theme occurred to me throughout the book, although it wasn't necessarily referenced consistently. The good of the many is more important than the good of the one. There are so many variables when it comes to this statement and for the most part it seems natural to say, "Of course, the many is more important than the one", but when inside Winston's head, all that I began to care about was his well-being and not if he was able to help disband or conquer the Party and Big Brother. I just wanted him to be at peace. Whether or not the good of all is more important than that of the one, I can't answer. I think most people feel their own happiness is more important than the rest of the world's, and maybe that's part of the problem but it's also human nature. I only wish we could all accept one other regardless of belief and culture and not try to force ways of life onto other people. Maybe I'm naive for thinking that way, but so be it. I almost don't know what to think about this book. I'm not even sure my brain still works, or if it ever worked right at all. This book has a way of making you think you know exactly what you believe about everything and then turning you completely upside down and making you question whether or not you believe anything at all about anything. It's the strangest thing. Hmmm. Doublethink? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Everything about this book is captivating. It's groundbreaking yet at the same time, purely classic. Ahead of its time, yet timeless. From Big Brother to the Thought Police, I was hooked and wanted to know more about it all. Basically, I think everyone should read 1984 at some point. You really have to be in the mood to work at reading it, though. But it's all worth it in the end. It's absolutely incredible and I loved it. I don't re-read many books but this will definitely be one of them. It is a hard read, but more importantly, it is a MUST read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” This changed the way that I looked at ideologies and changed the way I looked at leadership. Cynical, scathing, and not without its flaws, this is still a stark, haunting glimpse at what could be. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” Chilling. The closing lines still come to me sometimes and remind me of depths that I can only imagine. “He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” This changed the way that I looked at ideologies and changed the way I looked at leadership. Cynical, scathing, and not without its flaws, this is still a stark, haunting glimpse at what could be. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” Chilling. The closing lines still come to me sometimes and remind me of depths that I can only imagine. “He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother” ** 2018 addendum - it is a testament to great literature that a reader recalls the work years later and this is a book about which I frequently think. The scene that I most often think is when Winston and Julia are captured. ** 2019 reread - Lost in my memory was to what extent Orwell describes and explains his nightmare. Winston Smith cautiously and surreptitiously discovers the Brotherhood led by Goldstein and then learns all too well about O'Brien's duplicitous doublethink. More than just a cautionary political tale, Orwell has described an ideological abyss into which we must not gaze; a glimpse at authoritarianism power plays to which the Nazis and Soviets never descended. While we can appreciate the reminder to avoid authoritarianism and his prophetic vision, the idea that truth can be arranged through media is perhaps the most relevant for us today.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    547. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell Nineteen Eighty-Four, often published as 1984, is a dystopian novel published in 1949 by English author George Orwell. The novel is set in Airstrip One, formerly Great Britain, a province of the superstate Oceania, whose residents are victims of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation. Oceania's political ideology, euphemistically named English Socialism (shortened to "Ingsoc" in Newspeak, the government's invented 547. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell Nineteen Eighty-Four, often published as 1984, is a dystopian novel published in 1949 by English author George Orwell. The novel is set in Airstrip One, formerly Great Britain, a province of the superstate Oceania, whose residents are victims of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation. Oceania's political ideology, euphemistically named English Socialism (shortened to "Ingsoc" in Newspeak, the government's invented language) is enforced by the privileged, elite Inner Party. Via the "Thought Police", the Inner Party persecutes individualism and independent thinking, which are regarded as "thoughtcrimes". عنوانها: 1984؛ ۱۹۸۴؛ هزار و نهصد وهشتاد و چهار 1984 - نویسنده: جورج اورول؛ (نیلوفر)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1982 میلادی عنوان: 1984 (۱۹۸۴)؛ نویسنده: جورج اورول؛ مترجم: صالح حسینی؛ تهران، نیلوفر، 1361؛ در 272 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1364؛ سوم 1367؛ چهارم 1369؛ شابک: 9644480449؛ پنجم 1374؛ ششم 1376؛ هفتم 1380؛ هشتم 1382؛ یازدهم و دوازدهم 1388؛ شابک: 9789644480447؛ سیزدهم 1389؛ در 312 ص؛ چاپ چهاردهم 1395؛ عنوان گسترده: هزار و نهصد وهشتاد و چهار؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگلن انگلیسی - سده 20 م مترجمین دیگر: رضا زارع، در 384 ص، قزوین آزرمیدخت، 1392؛ خدیجه خدایی، در 318 ص، تبریز، یاران، 1391؛ نرگس حیدری منجیلی، در 352 ص، تهران، اردیبهشت، 1389،؛ مریم فیروزبخت، در 392 ص، تهران، حکایتی دگر، 1389؛ زهره زندیه، در 400 ص، قزوین، آزرمیدخت؛ کتایون شاهوردی، در 465 ص، تهران، فراموشی، 1396؛ فهیمه رحمتی، در 400 ص، تهران، ماهانه، 1394؛ امیر سالارکیا، در 384 ص؛ تهران، هنر پارینه، 1394؛ مرتضی، سعیدی تبار، در 384 ص، کرمان، انتشارات ولی، 1393؛ محمدعلی جدیری، تهران، اختر، چاپ یازدهم 1392، در 399 ص؛ چاپ سیزدهم، تبریز، سومر، 1393، در 283 ص؛ وحید کیان، تهران، کارگاه فیلم و گرافیک سپاس، 1394، در 375 ص؛ حمیدرضا بلوچ، در 288 ص، تهران، گهبد، 1384، چاپ دوم 1385، سوم 1386، پنجم 1388؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، مجید، 1386؛ در 288 ص؛ چاپ هشتم 1392؛ کتاب «1984» را «اریک آرتور بلر» با نام مستعار «جرج اورول»؛ نویسنده و شاعر انگلیسی بنوشته است و تا‌ به‌ امروز به بیش از 65 زبان گوناگون برگردان، و میلیون‌ها نسخه از آن فروخته شده است. با توجه به تصویر روشنی که اورول در داستان از نظامهای تمامیت‌خواه ارائه می‌دهد، انگار کنید بیانیه‌ ای سیاسی، برای رد همه ی نظام‌های توتالیتر، و کمونیستی است. «جهان اورولی، 1984» داستان «وینستون اسمیت» را روایت می‌کند؛ فردیکه نماد یک شهروند عادی دگراندیش، در دنیای اورولی ست. رمان در سال 1949 میلادی نوشته شده، زمانی‌که جنگ دوم جهانگیر به‌ تازگی پایان یافته بود؛ و جهانیان، خطر تسلیم‌ شدن در پیشگاه دیکتاتورها را، نیک فهمیده بودند. در آن زمان، جنگ سرد هنوز آغاز نشده بود، و در دنیای غرب نیز، هنوز روشنفکران بسیاری بودند، که از کمونیسم هواداری، و دفاع میکردند. در واقع اورول کتاب را، برای اخطار به غربیان، برای گوشزد کردن خطر گسترش کمونیسم، نوشته است؛ اما داستان این اثر را، می‌توان به شرایط حاکم بر تمام جوامع تحت سلطه‌ ی حکومت‌ها‌ی استبدادی نیز، گسترش داد. داستان در سال 1984 میلادی (35 سال پس از تاریخ نگارش کتاب) در شهر لندن، رخ می‌دهد. پس از جنگ جهانگیر، حاکمان کشورهای قدرتمند، به این نتیجه رسیده‌ اند، که اگر جهان، به روند افزایش ثروت ادامه دهد، ارکان جامعه‌ ی طبقاتی، به خطر می‌افتد؛ و حکومتها سرنگون میشوند. آن‌ها تنها راه جلوگیری از این امر را، نابود کردن ثروت تولید شده، در جنگی بی‌ پایان می‌بینند. ا. شربیانی

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I've put off writing a review for 1984 because it's simply too daunting to do so. I liked 1984 even better after a second reading (bumping it up from a 4 star to a 5 star) because I think that, given the complexity of the future created by Orwell, multiple readings may be needed to take it all in. I thought it was genius the first time and appreciated that genius even more the second time. Orwell had a daunting task: creating a future nearly half a century away from the time period in which he I've put off writing a review for 1984 because it's simply too daunting to do so. I liked 1984 even better after a second reading (bumping it up from a 4 star to a 5 star) because I think that, given the complexity of the future created by Orwell, multiple readings may be needed to take it all in. I thought it was genius the first time and appreciated that genius even more the second time. Orwell had a daunting task: creating a future nearly half a century away from the time period in which he was writing. This future had to be its own complex, independent society, but it also had to be the natural end result of the totalitarianism Orwell witnessed in the communist and socialist regimes of World War II. That's part of the horror of 1984: this future is a recognizable one, even in the 21st century. It's easy to see how those in control can, through manipulation and propaganda, maintain that control simply for the sake of sating their own power hunger. It's easy to say "no one could ever tell me what to think or what to do," but the Party's use of Big Brother, the Thought Police, the Two-Minute Hate, and Doublethink make it easy to see how a person's ability to think independently and discern fiction from reality can be eroded when there is no touchstone to fact. Revising and rewriting the past to make certain that Big Brother and the Party are always correct has effectively eliminated historical accuracy. How can one think and reason in a society where everything is a fabrication? Another facet of 1984 that I find fascinating is the relationship between Winston and Julia. Winston claims Julia is a "rebel from the waist down," engaging in promiscuity and hedonistic indulgences forbidden by the Party. She doesn't care about social injustice or defining "reality"; she only longs for what will make her feel good in the moment and only rebels far enough to get what she wants. By comparison, Winston is an intellectual rebel, constantly worrying over the issues of truth and freedom and the real, unvarnished past, but limited in how far he's willing to push the boundaries (until he meets Julia). Together, they make a complete rebellion--physical and mental, but apart they find themselves impotent to stand up to the Party. A cautionary tale, social commentary, and exemplary example of dystopian fiction, 1984 is one of those perfect novels that not only entertains, but forces one to think about the danger associated with giving any one person or entity too much power or control over our lives--issues well worth consideration in post-9/11 America. Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder

  12. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    This was the book that started my love affair with the dystopian genre. And maybe indirectly influenced my decision to do a politics degree. I was only 12 years old when I first read it but I suddenly saw how politics could be taken and manipulated to tell one hell of a scary and convincing story. I'm a lot more well-read now but, back then, this was a game-changer. I started to think about things differently. I started to think about 2 + 2 = 5 and I wanted to read more books that explored the This was the book that started my love affair with the dystopian genre. And maybe indirectly influenced my decision to do a politics degree. I was only 12 years old when I first read it but I suddenly saw how politics could be taken and manipulated to tell one hell of a scary and convincing story. I'm a lot more well-read now but, back then, this was a game-changer. I started to think about things differently. I started to think about 2 + 2 = 5 and I wanted to read more books that explored the idea of control.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Leo .

    Is Orwell turning in his grave? Does his epitaph read. "I fucking warned you! Don't say I never told you so! " Did he have a crystal fucking ball? *** If you want truth, go out and see Not like in 1984, Richard Burton on TV Orwell must have been psychic, or was he in the know Cos' what's going on in the world clearly shows That humanity is programmed through a TV screen Since its conception, its all its ever been News, films, dramas, sports, soaps and cartoons Leaving the masses wide eyed, like Buffoons Is Orwell turning in his grave? Does his epitaph read. "I fucking warned you! Don't say I never told you so! " Did he have a crystal fucking ball? *** If you want truth, go out and see Not like in 1984, Richard Burton on TV Orwell must have been psychic, or was he in the know Cos' what's going on in the world clearly shows That humanity is programmed through a TV screen Since its conception, its all its ever been News, films, dramas, sports, soaps and cartoons Leaving the masses wide eyed, like Buffoons All the rhetoric and propaganda, oozing about us, every place we look, and go It is everywhere, embedded, enveloping, as people to and fro Screens on buildings, bus stops, train stations, all over the place, fuelling our vices PC's, laptops, google glass, tablets and mobile devices Its in the ether, the air and the subconscious brain Whether one is aware or not, the information leaves its stain Orwell must have been psychic, or was he in the know Perpetual war, a bogeyman, terrorists, must be real, its all a TV show Censored press, hacking phones, spying on the masses Every email, phone call, text message, and google eye glasses Technocratic Dystopia, hunger games, people put into factions Not allowed to speak, monitoring our actions In the name of security, no person is free Unless your blood is Royal, or have connections to the family Or a valued member in Vatican State, purple robes, velvet glove, and iron fist A Freemason, a congressman, senator, president, PM, you get the gist Social engineering, eugenics, deep state, cabals and satanic cults Lodges, temples, hail, thunder and lightening bolts Rapture, ragnarok, jihad, ends of days TV In dramas, films, cartoons, its all we ever see Monsters and bogeymen, cold war, terrorism, and disease, and destruction People trafficking, drug smuggling, arms deals, and child abduction All entertainment, to keep the masses distracted No freedom of information, cos the juicy bits are redacted In the name of security, or for the security of a famous name The whole thing is inverted, its all a game Cos' rules are lures, and laws are walls And all of the people are silly fools Glued to a PC, Mob Phone or TV screen Since its conception, its all its ever been Was Orwell a psychic, or was he in the know One things for certain, it won't be on a TV show By Leo.🐯👍 When one is young and immersed into the seas of academia one is asked what one wants to be when one grows up? Which pigeon hole? What label? What career? When a car driver loses control of the vehicle and strays from the path that was ahead, the car careers off the road. One might crash. One is no longer on the journey one originally set out on. One is lost. Off the beaten track. So, when one is a child and asked what career one wants, esoterically it means how can one be swayed or crashed and stopped from what one may want to be when one grows up. The only answer a child should give to their teacher (indoctrinater) is...HAPPY!👍🐯 Who are these people? These authorities with all the powers? Deciding what we say, or do, or go, from their Ivory Towers A deviant neighbour moves in next door, behaviour abnormal, and hoarding trash Puts his waste in his shed, a festering, mouldy stash Attracting rats, mice, flies and vermin of all kinds Breaking other residents resolve, distorting their minds For when the community complain about it, every day, week in week out, all the time These authorities point the finger at us, accuse us of a Bloody Hate Crime! Rationale has been replaced, with the word Hate As the lines blur, in this New World Order, is it too late? To change this world? To take a stance? Maybe our last Chance! This world is going to Hell in a Shitstorm! If we don't restore the Earth's Balance. 🐯👍 Politics, or many ticks? Crawling all over society Police or Po-Lice? Crawling over people who are Free Choose and Lose, for they are not there, for the likes of You and Me Look around and thus, Beware! These parasites, are only there to Scare To enforce Order, in the chaos they Create On behest of the Magicians behind the curtains, the One's that preach Hate. In this Cube, this false construct, this Square. So look around, see the whole, and Beware! I am full aware of what is going on in this pursuit for a New World Order, an Old World Order, whereby the void between the few and the majority broadens. I am so frustrated how the Sheeple just seem to lap it up. Every day the Inter-NET tightens it's grip or, the World Wide Spider Web lures and traps millions with the Glitsy new smart phone. A cell phone. A smart cell phone that is all singing and dancing...Blah! Blah! Blah! It is called a Cell phone for a reason. Like the Net and the Web. Soon all appliances and mob devices will be Smart. If one does not own one then when 5G is rolled out and the Smart Grid comes into being, one will be left behind. Soon all money paid in wages or commerce will be digital and people will not survive in the New Virtual World unless one is chipped or connected to the 5G network. Understand that money is phony. It is paper or a figure on a PC screen. Soon to be a digital concept, like in the film In Time. Money used to be made of copper, silver and gold. This is when coins actually held value, worth it's weight in gold actually meant something. Then the Templars invented the Banking system, (now they are called Freemasons) a Fiat pyramid system that is illegal yet, no person seems to care. That is the way it is. Only because of ignorance. Acquiescence, Taxation is a fraud. It is theft. Time to wake up before it is too late. Club of Rome, Skull and Bones, Knights of the Realm, Knights of Malta, Rosicrucians, CFR, just a few of the Nefarious institutions. London School Of Economics and the Tavistock Institute. Oh! And the female freemasonic Eastern Star. Maybe I have said too much but, I don't care anymore. That is today's Rant. Everybody should read 1984 and also watch the film. Update: The Sex Pistols, a great British band Fully aware, of the hidden hand The entity, that controls, from most high, looking down Elevated, Godlike, Alpha, The Crown💓👍🐯

  14. 5 out of 5

    Starjustin

    What can I possibly say about this amazing novel, 1984 by George Orwell, that hasn't been already said by many who have read the book for over half a century. When it is said that the book is 'haunting', 'nightmarish', and 'startling' any reader would have to agree! This well known novel grips the reader from the beginning and does not even let go of the grip at the finished reading. A classic you won't want to miss if you haven't taken the time to read it yet. I actually listened to this novel What can I possibly say about this amazing novel, 1984 by George Orwell, that hasn't been already said by many who have read the book for over half a century. When it is said that the book is 'haunting', 'nightmarish', and 'startling' any reader would have to agree! This well known novel grips the reader from the beginning and does not even let go of the grip at the finished reading. A classic you won't want to miss if you haven't taken the time to read it yet. I actually listened to this novel on audio and Simon Prebble was the 'perfect' narrator.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Social media is a cage full of starved rats and all of us have our heads stuck in there now, like it or not.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joey Woolfardis

    Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC's Big Read Poll of 2003. "For, if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away." Nineteen Eighty-Four is an insanely relevant novel in this day and Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC's Big Read Poll of 2003. "For, if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away." Nineteen Eighty-Four is an insanely relevant novel in this day and age, but it's also a rather soothing novel that contains some of the horrors that could never come to pass, though there are some horrific parallels between the England in the book and some countries around the world in the 21st Century. Winston is a very complex, sane person in a world full of insanity and utter destitution. Julia is on par with Winston, but other than the charming and mysterious O'Brien, no other character is developed enough to be anything but a filler, someone to push the plot along. In any other novel this would be a bad thing, but in this world it is perfect, and it's exactly what those people are in any case. It is so superbly written I cannot fault it at all concerning that. At the beginning I was drawn in so far that I was almost in love. It was a five-star book up until Julia turned up: whilst I completely understand her character and her paradoxical nature (being so openly physically against Big Brother and yet intelligence-wise and mentally not), I did not like her even remotely, but I understood her character fully. The other thing that put me off was the huge info-dump. Whilst I completely understood that this was an intentional info-drop and it really could not have been conveyed to either the reader or the character in any other way, it really made the whole thing very disjointed. Again, it felt hugely intentional but I still did not enjoy it. Overall, there's really nothing I can fault except my own opinions. Good writing is Fact: punctuation in the correct places, the right use of words, syntax and all that; building up worlds and characters to a certain degree of solidness. Enjoyment of writing is Opinion: characters being likeable, understandable; worlds being full or non-descript. This was a perfect book that I simply had a few too many low opinions of to be delighted by it completely. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Shop | Etsy

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

    “The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.” Just about everything Orwell says in 1984 is a maniacal truism. In some twisted form, everything reflects the truth of reality. Of course there are exaggerations, though nothing is far from plausibility. We are controlled by our governments, and often in ways we are not consciously aware of. Advertisements, marketing campaigns and political events are all designed for us to elicit a certain response and think in a desired “The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.” Just about everything Orwell says in 1984 is a maniacal truism. In some twisted form, everything reflects the truth of reality. Of course there are exaggerations, though nothing is far from plausibility. We are controlled by our governments, and often in ways we are not consciously aware of. Advertisements, marketing campaigns and political events are all designed for us to elicit a certain response and think in a desired way. 1984 takes this to the extreme. Cultural brainwashing becomes the chief goal. Assimilation into a passionless (and completely ignorant) mind-set becomes the most effective means of keeping the population down. If you can make a man forget (or deny) his past then he knows of no situation better than his current state: it’s all he knows, so why would he act to change it? Subjugation becomes normality. “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.” Big brother does this by harsh policing, excessive surveillance and language manipulation. The streets are claustrophobic and the people (the workers) can escape nothing. Every action, every word spoken, is recorded. The police are ready to grab anyone who steps remotely out of line. Controlling language is perhaps the most effective thought control method I’ve ever heard of. If language can be broken down into the absolute basics, the simplest and ordinary units, then people can only express themselves on a very minor level. They cannot think beyond their daily tasks because there are no words that connote dreams and fantasy. Step out of line and you are killed, though not before being dragged to room 101 for torture and even stronger methods of thought control. As such through the plot the book depicts a stark transformation, a transformation of man who was once willing to fight and to think but falls into one of the ingenious traps big brother sets for him to expose his criminality. Orwell’s words are frightening because of their eerie parallels with reality. He shows us that we are not so far from big brother as we may think. “We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.” Unlike Animal Farm this also leaves much to the imagination. It’s a much more successful book and one that once it has been read, it certainly cannot be unread.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Zoë

    Goodness gracious this was very unsettling. I'm already a pretty paranoid person, so the idea of Big Brother was both very intriguing but also extremely frightening. I really enjoyed reading this, but there were moments when I wasn't invested in the story and wanted to take a break from it, mostly in the last half of the book. Still DEFINITELY worth the read, though!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Yes! This book! Amazing! Terrifying, brutal, intricate, prophetic - and, in one big word, GENIUS! This was a reread - the last time I read this was over 20 years ago and I wanted to see if the 5 star rating and its standing in one of my top 3 favorite books held up - and it most certainly does. If this book was written today in the midst of the slew of dystopian novels that come out, it may not have stood out. But, this book was way ahead of its time. Written in a post WWII era where the fears of Yes! This book! Amazing! Terrifying, brutal, intricate, prophetic - and, in one big word, GENIUS! This was a reread - the last time I read this was over 20 years ago and I wanted to see if the 5 star rating and its standing in one of my top 3 favorite books held up - and it most certainly does. If this book was written today in the midst of the slew of dystopian novels that come out, it may not have stood out. But, this book was way ahead of its time. Written in a post WWII era where the fears of dictatorships and brutal tyranny were fresh in the minds of the people, this book plays off that fear and adds a dark vision of a potential future. This is where the genius of Orwell comes in. The book is mainly the manifesto of the Party that the main character is seeking to rebell against. But, the ideology and descriptions of this dystopian world are not presented in a boring way - they are fascinating. The fact that Orwell created this world and laid out not only a terrifying political environment, but the rules for the new language they were creating, is beyond amazing. Finally, some of the things he describes sound all too possible in our current world. The controversial elections this week in the US only added to the intensity of this book. Read this! Especially if you are a fan of modern dystopia, you must read the fore fathers - 1984 and Brave New World. And, remember - Big Brother is watching!

  20. 5 out of 5

    James Trevino

    I reread this recently, knowing my mind from a few years ago is different from my mind now. But it was surprisingly just as scary! Maybe even more so, if that is possible!! I wonder if there is someone who has read 1984 and has not felt angry and helpless. It is a good book. It is so good that it made my want to throw away my Kindle. And that is a lot, considering the last time that happened was when I read about The Red Wedding in George R.R. Martin's series. I also wonder if this world Orwell I reread this recently, knowing my mind from a few years ago is different from my mind now. But it was surprisingly just as scary! Maybe even more so, if that is possible!! I wonder if there is someone who has read 1984 and has not felt angry and helpless. It is a good book. It is so good that it made my want to throw away my Kindle. And that is a lot, considering the last time that happened was when I read about The Red Wedding in George R.R. Martin's series. I also wonder if this world Orwell describes is that far from ours. Big Brother may have become a stupid internet meme and an even stupider TV show (if there are fans here sorrynotsorry), but that somehow makes it even more frightening. In 1984 the oppression is very in your face, but in reality it is hidden through nice words and fancy laws. At the end of the day, it really makes you ask yourself if safety and security are really what you want. And if they are worth the price...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Doubleplusgood Maxitruth in Oldspeak on Doublethink and Crimestop! (Translation from Newspeak: Excellent, accurate analysis of oppressive, selective society in well-written Standard English reflecting on the the capacity to hold two contradictory opinions for truth at the same time and on the effectiveness of protective stupidity as a means to keep a power structure stable.) There is not much left to say about this prophetic novel by Orwell which has not been said over and over again since its Doubleplusgood Maxitruth in Oldspeak on Doublethink and Crimestop! (Translation from Newspeak: Excellent, accurate analysis of oppressive, selective society in well-written Standard English reflecting on the the capacity to hold two contradictory opinions for truth at the same time and on the effectiveness of protective stupidity as a means to keep a power structure stable.) There is not much left to say about this prophetic novel by Orwell which has not been said over and over again since its publication at the beginning of the Cold War in 1949. There are obviously elements which refer directly to Stalinist socialism, and the life conditions of people in the 1940s, but what strikes as sadly true, not for Communist propaganda behind the historical Iron Curtain, but for the celebrated democracies in the Western tradition, is the idea of rewriting history and altering facts a posteriori into their opposite to suit political agendas, and the usurpation of scientific and political language to follow a path of absolute brainwashing. Western reality has caught up with 1984 in the era of “alternative facts” instead of falsehoods, and the denunciation of non-existent massacres to create fear, and an increasingly “blackwhite” take on society in general. Reading this novel for the third time with the speeches of the current President of the United States and his followers ringing in my ears, it is hard not to cringe at the reduction of language that Orwell predicted in "1984" (1949): "Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” Just listening to the current reductionist rhetoric, expressing a less than shallow understanding of basic political thought and knowledge, shows the increasing spread of Newspeak at the highest level of command in democratic societies, claiming to be celebrating education, equality, freedom and human rights. “So sad! Very dishonest! Total loser! You are fake news! Russia is fake news! The failing NYTimes! It’s great! It’s SO great! You wouldn’t believe how great that is (doubleplusgreat, I assume...). The largest! The best! Running like a fine-tuned machine! The least racist! The most humble! The one with the best polls, for the negative ones are fake!” - Doublethink and crimestop nonstop! The problem with dictatorships, and dogmas of a specific faith, is that they will never shy away from usurping and then destroying the generally accepted conventions of communication if it serves their purposes. Thus a creationist believer in the literal truth of the Bible will use the argument of “enquiry”, “controversy” or “evidence” in order to attack real scientists with their own vocabulary, while refusing to question the default setting of their own dogmas, which cannot deliver any evidence at all, being as real as the Bowling Green massacre. The argument of “controversy” is a one-way road to kill opposition with their own weapons while staying safely within the “protective stupidity” (crimestop) of absolute, monofocal faith. The “tolerance” of the open-minded scientist becomes a weapon for the fundamentalist. (view spoiler)[ (One example of typical crimestop (=protective stupidity) is the Creation Museum in Kentucky, US, advertising their love for science, while starting with the slogan "Be prepared to believe": "Creationists love science! In fact, the word science means “knowledge.” We invite you to dive into the Bible and the scientific evidence with us to gather as much knowledge about God’s creation as you can. You’ll learn about the different types of science and discover facts and logical arguments you might have never considered. When you start with the Bible as your ultimate authority, you’re ready to discover creation science." They also have "REAL CREATION SCIENTISTS" (no kidding, they are real, not fake, according to website): "Did you know the Creation Museum employs PhD creation scientists who teach about anatomy, astronomy, biology, geology, and more from a biblical worldview? ") (hide spoiler)] The same selective use of language, a consistent tool to exert power in “1984”, can be seen in the Pro Life movement, a violent anti-abortion, anti-contraception fundamentalist Christian group, whose derogatory, misogynistic vocabulary strongly calls Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale to mind. Their aim, they claim, is to protect unborn life, which sounds honourable until you start to think about their opinions about and treatment of human beings that already dwell on earth: they are conservatives, mostly pro weapons, pro (ideological) wars, pro death penalty, anti welfare, anti climate change and anti health care. That does not rhyme well with the militant need to control female sexuality, labelled protection of the foetus’ right. Controlling sexuality is a major topic in Orwell’s dystopia as well - goodsex being newspeak for chastity. What struck me as overwhelmingly sad in the main character of "1984", which did not catch my attention the first two times I read the novel, was the breaking down of the man’s sanity and mental capacities, rather than his body. The scary development for Winston Smith is not the prospect of torture, once he starts rebelling against the oppressive (“free”) society, it is the fear to lose his humanity in the process: “To die hating them, that was freedom.” This idea, expressed by Ionesco in his fabulous play Rhinocéros as well, is denied Orwell’s main character, however. He is broken, not only physically, but mentally, and after torture of unimaginable dimensions, his closing lines show complete surrender, body and soul, to the evil brainwashing machinery of Big Brother: “He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother!” Put this man into the context of an interview on television, where the President of the United States is questioned on his position regarding torture as a means to receive “information”. Dodging the question, he speaks about an undefined opposition “chopping off Christians’ heads”, thus creating the necessary atmosphere of fear to evade direct challenge, and then, in his reduced, stupid language, he says: “Torture? Do I feel it works? Absolutely, I feel it works.” And depending on what is your desired outcome (“confession” of facts, alternative or otherwise), it does. Unfortunately. You can force a human being to speak against his or her will, using torture. And as long as you are not finicky regarding the accuracy of the received confession, you will be able to report results. An easy task for any doublethinker. As for CRIMESTOP - the protective stupidity practised by most dogmatic, orthodox people in all parts of the world - that is the root of the evil. And it can only be challenged with a proper, objective, fact-based, politically and religiously untainted EDUCATION! And please do not confuse that with information! Information, as we know, can be “bad”. Really bad. Rotten. So unfair. So dishonest. The most dishonest information in the world. Total loser information. Education Against Crimestop Now!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cecily

    Revised for 2017, with added "Alternative Facts" Ten Shades of Grey? The colour of this book is grey, relentless grey: of skin, sky, food, floor, walls, mind, life itself. Added piquancy comes from general decay, drudgery, exploitation, chronic sickness, and malaise. There is also sex and (non-sexual) bondage, domination, and torture. I don’t expect a dystopian book to be happy reading, but this reread was far grimmer than I remembered it, partly because I read it immediately after the lyrical Revised for 2017, with added "Alternative Facts" Ten Shades of Grey? The colour of this book is grey, relentless grey: of skin, sky, food, floor, walls, mind, life itself. Added piquancy comes from general decay, drudgery, exploitation, chronic sickness, and malaise. There is also sex and (non-sexual) bondage, domination, and torture. I don’t expect a dystopian book to be happy reading, but this reread was far grimmer than I remembered it, partly because I read it immediately after the lyrical beauty of another dystopia, Fahrenheit 451, reviewed HERE, and partly because I’ve probably watched Terry Gilliam’s magical film, Brazil so many times (though he claimed he had not read the book before making the film). Nevertheless, more than 50 years after it was written, 1984 is still powerful, important, and relevant - a feat EL James’ “Fifty Shades” books are unlikely to achieve. On the other hand, I gather Fifty Shades lacks page after page of heavy-handed political theory, so on that criterion, it might be ahead of 1984. “If there is hope, it lies in the proles” - they are not any shade of grey. Have We Reached 1984? (written in 2015) In some ways, this book is very dated. • The underlying misogyny is unchallenged (Winston “disliked nearly all women, and especially the young pretty ones… who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party” and he quickly goes from wanting to rape and murder a woman (he even tells her!) to lusting after “her youthful body desperate for him” and feeling “he had a right to” her). On the other hand, Winston is uncritical - enthusiastic even - about her promiscuity. • Related to that - and to Fahrenheit 451 - Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) wrote in a group discussion: "there's a distinct echo in both books of the Garden of Eden story, with Eve tempting Adam to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And in each case, it's a denial of the dogma that this is the original sin." • A contemporary writer would probably avoid the lengthy passages of exposition and theory found here (especially ~20 pages of closely typed text from Goldstein’s snappily titled “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism”). • The post-war Cold War fears are ancient history, and the rise of supposedly Islamic groups like Daesh/ISIS/ISIL pose a different sort of threat. BUT, where this is still pertinent, it’s not quite in the ways that Orwell might have expected. • We’re blasé about ubiquitous CCTV cameras, and we voluntarily, enthusiastically, surrender details of our interests, activities, location, and friends via our smartphone apps, and Google (see Vox article about how Google Trends reveals the truths that people don't tell researchers, here). • We think we’re too smart to fall for lies like those of the Party, but a quick trawl of trending stories on social media demonstrates the untruth of that: people are gullible. The patent nonsense that people believe and share, without ever engaging the weakest of critical faculties is staggering. Most of those are trivial compared with the lies of Big Brother, but they show how easy it is to believe what everyone else believes, regardless of ample evidence to the contrary. • We may not have Two Minutes’ Hate or Hate Week, but we certainly have hate figures, and again, social media exacerbates the crowd mentality: “The horrible thing… was not that one was obliged to act a part, but… that it was impossible to avoid joining in”. I’ve not read Jon Ronson’s So You've Been Publicly Shamed , but I’m familiar with many of the stories in it (if you’re not, look at the many excellent reviews on GR). Scary stuff. Update, January 2017, “Alternative Facts” On 20 January 2017, Donald Trump was inaugurated as President of the USA. He campaigned in the style of an autocratic, narcissistic demagogue. He had a long track record of flagrantly denying obvious, provable truths, even on trivial matters. The day after numerous photos and other measures showed unimpressive attendance at his inauguration, rather than blame poor weather or practical and financial difficulties of travel, Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary flat-out denied realistic estimates, refused to take questions, and threatened to crack down on the press. The resulting furore led to Kellyanne Conway, a Trump Strategist, defended him, saying he had merely presented "Alternative Facts". “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command… And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth's centre. With the feeling that he was speaking to O'Brien, and also that he was setting forth an important axiom, he wrote: .....Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.” “If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened – that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death? ” “The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.” “Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.” UnTruth and UnReality - Three Types • “The mutability of the past” means history is forever being rewritten corrected for slips, errors, misprints and misquotes, making truth unknowable (Winston is not even sure of his age or year of birth). • The doublethink slogans of the Party are another deliberate type of unreality. • The third confusion of reality is subtler, in stark contrast to the gritty realism of the rest of the book, and not one I’d really considered on previous readings. It relates to dreams, premonitions, hallucinations, and (in)sanity. Confusion from deprivation and torture is one thing, but there are possible magical-realist aspects. Early on, Winston dreams of meeting O’Brien “in the place where there is no darkness”; later mentions are ambiguous as to whether this is coincidence or something else. A country landscape is also familiar from a dream, and he has a muddled dream about the coral paperweight, his mother and a Jewish woman. Furthermore, there are times in prison when the interrogator’s knowledge seems too precise and secret to be inferred from spies, screens or microphones: can he read Winston’s mind?! “Reality exists in the human mind and nowhere else. ” “If there is hope, it lies in the proles” “The proles were not loyal to a party or a country or an idea, they were loyal to one another… The proles had stayed human. ” As unimportant drones, they have freedom denied to Party members and “were beneath suspicion”. Conditions in Airstrip One are dire, with food and basic services in very limited supply, but sanity is scarcest of all. “Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain. ” For some, “By lack of understanding they remained sane”. Three Parts • The first part sets the scene of Winston’s Smith’s predictable life as an unimportant Party member in Big Brother’s terrifying regime in Airstrip One, ever at war with either Eurasia or Eastasia. • The second part concerns actions: freedom, courage, love/lust, betrayal. • The final part is about the consequences of those actions. Again and again, brief, apparently trivial things turn out to be significant. Newspeak “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” “Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year”, with the aim of making “thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it”. This is really an extreme form of linguistic determinism (aka Sapir-Whorf hypothesis): the idea that the structure of a language can affect the cognition of those who use it. A very different extrapolation of that is in Ted Chiang's The Story of Your Life (filmed for 2016 as Arrival), reviewed HERE. I thought the linguistic aspect would be something I’d especially enjoy this time, but the key features are familiar and it’s explained in an appendix (which is where most of the lengthy extracts of Goldstein’s book should have gone, imo.) However, it's worth noting that the appendix, written after the main story, is in conventional English. Newspeak is/was no more. For insight into 21st Century Political Language, see my review of Steven Pool's excellent Unspeak: How Words Become Weapons, How Weapons Become a Message, and How That Message Becomes Reality from 2006, HERE. Feelings – and Troublesome Questions This is a grey, cold book. Even the lust and passion it contains is chilling. But it asks timeless and difficult questions about love and loyalty: • Would you risk everything - absolutely everything - for a few passionate meetings with someone you may not even love? • To serve your ideology, would you lie, murder, steal… throw acid in a child’s face? • If you could save your partner by doubling your own pain, would you? Would you really? • Is failure of love the only betrayal that counts? (If you tell all, but secretly love, are you loyal?) Quotes Some are so well-known, it might seem superfluous to type them here, but that’s exactly why I’ve included them. • “It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen.” • “Although the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no colour in anything, except the posters that were plastered everywhere.” • “An active man of almost paralysing stupidity.” • “All history was a palimpsest.” • “It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.” • “The old man’s memory was nothing but a rubbish-heap of details.” • “A hanging oil lamp which gave off an unclean but friendly smell.” • “He would buy further scraps of beautiful rubbish.” (In addition to coral in glass.) • “It was camouflage. If you kept the small rules, you could break the big ones.” • A dash of lipstick and “she had become not only much prettier, but… far more feminine.” • Charrington, the junk shop owner had “vaguely the air of being a collector rather than a tradesman”. • “The end was contained in the beginning.” • “Our only true life was in the future.” • “Winston was gelatinous with fatigue… His body seemed to have not only the weakness of a jelly, but its transparency.” • “The best books, he [Winston] perceived, are those that tell you what you know already.” No, no, no! • “The blade would bite into him with a sort of burning coldness.” • “Never, for any reason on earth, could you wish for an increase in pain… Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain.” Hmm. What about emotional pain? • “If you want to keep a secret you must also hide it from yourself.” • “The confession was a formality. The torture was real.” • “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” • “In the old days the heretic walked to the stake still a heretic… But we make the brain perfect before we blow it out.” Shades of Kafka’s In the Penal Colony, reviewed HERE. Slogans • “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” • “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” • “2 + 2 = 5” “Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once.” • “It is not enough to obey him: you must love him.” • “We are interested solely in power… Power is not a means, it is an end.” • “Outside man there is nothing… The earth is the centre of the universe.” • “Big Brother is watching.” Image source: http://www.artsparx.com/images/bl_val... OLD Review from 2008 The year 1984 may be long passed, but this book is more pertinent than ever: big brother is watching us, history is rewritten (though that has always been true) and free speech is constrained (albeit often under the misused guise of political correctness). It's a shame that the humorous TV programme "Room 101" and reality TV franchise "Big Brother" have distracted people from the seriousness of Orwell's message.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joe Valdez

    My preparedness for the regime change taking place in the United States--with elements of the Electoral College, the Kremlin and the FBI helping to install a failed business promoter who the majority of American voters did not support in the election--begins with 1984 by George Orwell. Like many, this 1949 novel was assigned reading for me in high school. What stood out to me then was that I needed to finish it because there would be a test. Studying how civics is supposed to work in 3rd period My preparedness for the regime change taking place in the United States--with elements of the Electoral College, the Kremlin and the FBI helping to install a failed business promoter who the majority of American voters did not support in the election--begins with 1984 by George Orwell. Like many, this 1949 novel was assigned reading for me in high school. What stood out to me then was that I needed to finish it because there would be a test. Studying how civics is supposed to work in 3rd period government did not prepare me in 7th period English for this harrowing and precise depiction of fear and hatred run amok. 1990 Joe We're in the future! At least, what George Orwell thought postwar England might be like in in the future. Great Britain is now governed by Oceania and resembles a Warsaw Pact nation--the Party controls every action and thought of its miserable population through propaganda, surveillance and torture--but what's happened is that an atomic war in the 1950s left survivors in the United States and Western Europe desperate for law and order. Party members who pledge absolute loyalty to a figure known as Big Brother have their essential needs provided for, while the lower caste are known as Proles and regarded as rubbish. It sucks here! 2016 Joe Winston Smith is a contemplative thirty-nine year old Outer Party member who works at the Ministry of Truth in London. Like many great literary characters, he does not feel well. Winston is employed in the Records Department, altering (or as it's officially known, rectifying) articles for The Times which no longer adhere to the reality of The Party. Winston suffers from an ulcer on his leg and like many, subsists on Victory Gin. He leaves work on his lunch break to return his flat in Victory Gardens, hiding in a nook where he believes the telescreen installed in his home cannot see him. He begins a handwritten diary in an old book, with paper, that he found in a junk shop. For a moment he was seized by a kind of hysteria. He began writing in a hurried untidy scrawl: theyll shoot me i don’t care theyll shoot me in the back of the neck i dont care down with big brother they always shoot you in the back of the neck i dont care down with big brother-- He sat back in his chair, slightly ashamed of himself, and laid down the pen. The next moment he started violently. There was a knocking at the door. 1990 Joe Whoa so there's some heavy stuff in this book, like, telescreens that scream at you to do calisthenics in the morning, shout propaganda at you in the afternoon and listen to you talking in your sleep at night. There are periodic shortages of essential goods like razor blades and a perpetual war with Oceania's foe, Eurasia. At least the Party says so. No one trusts anyone else. In addition to hidden microphones, there are informers and spies everywhere prepared to turn you in to the Thought Police for thought crimes. Children most of all revel in ratting out their Outer Party moms and dads. It was always at night — the arrests invariably happened at night. The sudden jerk out of sleep, the rough hand shaking your shoulder, the lights glaring in your eyes, the ring of hard faces round the bed. In the vast majority of cases there was no trial, no report of the arrest. People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: VAPORIZED was the usual word. 2016 Joe The Party has so eradicated records of the past and traumatized its Outer Party members into obedience that its slogans are: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. But Winston's mind is his own. He's old enough to keep a mental inventory of the inconsistencies of the Party--like the one that says they invented aeroplanes--and contemplate that the glance of a co-worker named O'Brien reveals a fellow rebel. Believing that the only hope to overthrow Big Brother lies with the proles, Winston ventures into the slums. He buys an old man a pint and grills him for information on the past. Everyone seems blind, except, to Winston's terror, a dark-haired woman he works with at the Ministry of Truth. She sees Winston in the slums. 1990 Joe This book is hard to enjoy. Just when things start to slow, there is a love story introduced between Winston and his co-worker, Julia. She works at the Fiction Department, operating the press (that's kinda hot) that cranks out the only books that are allowed in Oceania. Winston initially suspects her of being a typical frigid Party femmebot, but Julia slips him a love note and arranges a series meetings with the aplomb of a spy. Separated in age by about fifteen years, I never understood what Julia's attraction to Winston was or why the couple didn't band together to escape or to take down Big Brother. If I was Winston, I'd stab Inner Party members all day without a lunch break. 2016 Joe George Orwell's writing is so precise, so penetrative, that I felt like he was broadcasting truths into my mind with a laser. I could appreciate that Winston and Julia were doing what they had to survive, that staying alive another day, even under tyranny, had become paramount to all other concerns. As an adult, I can now appreciate how fear and hatred warp democracy and how people who feel they have nothing left to lose surrender their once cherished freedoms and throw their lot in with a Big Brother who promises to take care of them. And did I mention the writing? ‘You are very young,’ he said. ‘You are ten or fifteen years younger than I am. What could you see to attract you in a man like me?’ ‘It was something in your face. I thought I’d take a chance. I’m good at spotting people who don’t belong. As soon as I saw you I knew you were against THEM.’ THEM, it appeared, meant the Party, and above all the Inner Party, about whom she talked with an open jeering hatred which made Winston feel uneasy, although he knew that they were safe here if they could be safe anywhere. A thing that astonished him about her was the coarseness of her language. Party members were supposed not to swear, and Winston himself very seldom did swear, aloud, at any rate. Julia, however, seemed unable to mention the Party, and especially the Inner Party, without using the kind of words that you saw chalked up in dripping alley-ways. He did not dislike it. It was merely one symptom of her revolt against the Party and all its ways, and somehow it seemed natural and healthy, like the sneeze of a horse that smells bad hay. The devil is in the details. What stands out to me in 1984 is precision with which Orwell depicts the joys of humanity thriving under inhumane rule as well as the terror of being exposed. Thinking men like Winston know that they'll be arrested, tortured and possibly vaporized for allowing themselves the indulgences that they do, but no amount of reason can prepare them for that moment of betrayal, arrest and interrogation. The third act of 1984 is terrifying. The Party's true methodology--to convert political prisoners to embrace Big Brother before disposing of them--is chilling, something whose force I wasn't prepared to appreciate in high school.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Leonard Gaya

    1948: Europe was only starting to recover from the slaughter of World War II. Nazi Germany had been crushed by the Russian army in the East and by the Anglo-American forces in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. The totalitarian regimes of Hitler, Mussolini and Imperial Japan had just been defeated. Stalin was going strong. Franco was undisturbed. However, the war was not quite over: the Allies, Russia on one side, the USA (+ Britain and France) on the other, were now superpowers staring stonily 1948: Europe was only starting to recover from the slaughter of World War II. Nazi Germany had been crushed by the Russian army in the East and by the Anglo-American forces in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. The totalitarian regimes of Hitler, Mussolini and Imperial Japan had just been defeated. Stalin was going strong. Franco was undisturbed. However, the war was not quite over: the Allies, Russia on one side, the USA (+ Britain and France) on the other, were now superpowers staring stonily at each other, their hands loaded with a new and deadly arsenal. Orwell wrote his novel, right after Animal Farm, in this ominous post-war / cold war/ perpetual war context, and many aspects of it are steeped in the horrors of tyranny, dehumanisation and disaster. Winston Smith, the wretched protagonist, lives in an alternate history where everyone is under constant surveillance (via "telescreens" and widespread denunciation), where propaganda, misinformation, history rewriting, language and thought manipulation, "reality control" (2 + 2 = 5) are pervasive tools to make every individual conform with the "Ingsoc" Party’s ideology. The result is a diehard totalitarian state, a perfect hell on earth, where individuality is “vaporised” at the whim of a spectral Big Brother, and where even love is impossible. The last third of the book is a long and horrifying torture and brainwashing session, to eradicate freedom of thought and establish utter insanity. The long interlude about "The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism" in the middle of the novel (II, 9) —interspersed within a slightly incongruous romance episode—, and the appendix on “The Principles of Newspeak” at the end —written as if from an unknown point, far in the future, when the madness has eventually subsided— are stupefying. 1984 likely borrows a few things from Kafka's Trial and Zamyatin's We. However, it has become (alongside The Time Machine, Brave New World, perhaps The Man in the High Castle and a handful others) one of the canonical landmarks of political satire or, as they later coined it, dystopia. I remember first reading this book in some secondary English class —it did not make much of an impression at the time. Rereading it today was something else altogether: I found Winston’s situation and sufferings dismal, revolting, at times almost unbearable. Brave New World, by contrast, appears like an almost cheerful, jovial story. Orwell's anti-revolutionary assumptions (the same as in Animal Farm) are indeed debatable. However, I wonder how this nightmarish masterpiece has become such a frequent reference in quasi-mundane dinner parties. In a time where the most prominent "doubleplusgood duckspeaker" politicians of the world make ample use of a new form of newspeak and doublethink, in a time where the minutiae of everyone's life can be (and sometimes are) monitored through the internet, Orwell’s novel should serve as a prophetic warning and be referred to with reverence and shivers. It is not impossible that Hannah Arendt read 1984 when writing The Origins of Totalitarianism a couple of years after Orwell's death. The influence of this novel on The Handmaid's Tale cannot be overstated: Margaret Atwood’s great work is almost a feminist tracing of 1984. I know there is a literal adaptation to the big screen of Orwell’s novel (with John Hurt and Richard Burton), which I have not yet seen. My favourite film adaptation, however, remains Brazil by Terry Gilliam. Blade Runner, too, borrows much of its 2019 Los Angeles architecture from 1984's Miniluv pyramidal building descriptions. Edit: I strongly recommend reading Erich Fromm’s afterword — included at the end of the Signet Classics paperback edition —, which puts Orwell’s novel in perspective with its historical context and with other dystopias, like We and Brave New World. Another edit: Recently watched Michael Radford’s film, Nineteen Eighty-Four — released precisely in 1984, a few months before Brazil. Although it is far from being on a par with Terry Gilliam’s satirical masterpiece, it is still an excellent film. Radford’s screenplay is very faithful to the novel; the cinematography and set design are evocative of the immediate post-war period, which, in a way, I found extremely relevant. Overall, the film is bleak, dark and heartrending, just as Orwell's novel. John Hurt, Suzanna Hamilton and Richard Burton (this was his last film performance) are all outstanding. It just reminded me how the whole Ingsoc business was foreshadowing the current media manipulation, disinformation, fear mongering and bullshitting in every shape and form, exerted by authoritarians like Putin, Trump and others.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    I know this is a well loved classic and I definitely enjoyed some parts... but some times I found myself a bit bored :S

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brent Weeks

    When I was a high school freshman, I picked up 1984 off the shelf at the school library. Older kid I didn't know came up to me--Hispanic guy from some big city in a maybe 90% white, small-town Montana school, always dressed like a gangster, ran with a rough crowd--I'll admit I felt a little threatened. He said, "Hey man, you gotta read that. My dad told me when he first read that book, he'd take two hits of acid, read a chapter, and then take two more hits of acid. He didn't leave the house for When I was a high school freshman, I picked up 1984 off the shelf at the school library. Older kid I didn't know came up to me--Hispanic guy from some big city in a maybe 90% white, small-town Montana school, always dressed like a gangster, ran with a rough crowd--I'll admit I felt a little threatened. He said, "Hey man, you gotta read that. My dad told me when he first read that book, he'd take two hits of acid, read a chapter, and then take two more hits of acid. He didn't leave the house for a week." It's still the most memorable pitch for a book I've ever heard. Turned out, that kid was a huge reader. Gave me lots of great book recommendations.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Markus

    “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” In a world of constant war between three all-controlling superpowers, every single human being in Oceania is being ruled by the Party. All freedom is gone, all pleasures are forbidden, all information is propaganda, rebellion is unthinkable, and your relatives will not hesitate to betray you. Even thinking rebellious thoughts is a crime, bound to get the attention of the Thought Police and a harsh punishment. And the masses live in “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” In a world of constant war between three all-controlling superpowers, every single human being in Oceania is being ruled by the Party. All freedom is gone, all pleasures are forbidden, all information is propaganda, rebellion is unthinkable, and your relatives will not hesitate to betray you. Even thinking rebellious thoughts is a crime, bound to get the attention of the Thought Police and a harsh punishment. And the masses live in constant fear. For they know that Big Brother is watching them... Just like The Lord of the Rings is the mother of all fantasy stories, 1984 is the mother of all dystopian stories. Neither of these books were the first in their respective genres, far from it, but both of them changed their genres into something more, and in many ways became the greatest works ever written. This is as far as I can see an important book more than a good one. George Orwell is a much greater thinker than he is a writer. 1984 is not a spectacular book in any way. It’s not particularly well-written. It’s not particularly complex. But the ideas behind it are greater than any book. Personally, I’ve always considered Orwell to be one of the most important thinkers of the modern era. He’s revolutionised the way we see the world. And while his is the way of the journalist, the political commentator and the social critic, his books are still enjoyable to read for what they are. The thing I find the most interesting about this book is that it’s basically a critique of radical left-wing thought. Yes, you’ll find attacks on capitalism and different forms of authoritarianism. But Orwell’s main attacks are focused towards the dangers of revolution, communism and left-wing thought in general. As the man himself once stated, "So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot." Now that, however, is not interesting in itself, or special in any way. The interesting thing is that Orwell himself was a left-wing thinker. You might accuse him of hypocrisy, but that would miss the point entirely. The thing that fascinates me the most about Orwell is that he’s a left-wing thinker who manages to see the flaws and dangers of left-wing thought, and subsequently tries to develop his own views from that insight. Since political terms mean different things to different people (although there are right and wrong definitions of most of them), I won’t showcase my own views in a public review. Ask me privately if you’re interested; I love discussing politics. Here and now, suffice it to say that Orwell and I agree on a great many things. So much for the political analysis. For further reading I'd recommend having a look at Isaac Asimov's very critical review, which I found almost as interesting and important as the book itself. “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.” More than anything, 1984 is the core of dystopia. It shows us everything that is wrong with our world, everything that has been wrong with it, and most importantly, everything that could go wrong in the future. In addition to presenting the reader with a possible future that to most of us would seem like our worst nightmare, it has a philosophical core bound to enlighten just about anyone on a thing or two. Orwell teaches you the true meaning of power and fear, and of the most stable pillars of human society. This is one of the most important books of our time. It inspired every single dystopian writer after it. It inspired V for Vendetta, one of my favourite movies. It inspired generations of political thinkers. And it’s a book everyone should read at least once. “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.”

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rowena

    “Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.” - George Orwell, 1984 It’s been over 5 years since I last read 1984 and I still find the storyline as horrific as ever. It's terrifying to think of a world in which your own children are spies for the government and can turn you in, where cameras are watching you 24/7, where one could be accused of committing a "facecrime" or having an "ownlife", a world in which we live nervously worrying about “Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.” - George Orwell, 1984 It’s been over 5 years since I last read 1984 and I still find the storyline as horrific as ever. It's terrifying to think of a world in which your own children are spies for the government and can turn you in, where cameras are watching you 24/7, where one could be accused of committing a "facecrime" or having an "ownlife", a world in which we live nervously worrying about whether the sensitive machinery that is watching you will pick up an increase in heartbeat that may incriminate us. When I first read this book I imagined a similar dystopic world taking place in a Communist country or perhaps in a dictatorship like the one so many of my relatives were raised in. Now I realize it could just as well take place in a so-called democracy under several guises, and that’s the scary part. My mind did wander quite a bit while I was reading this book, thinking of the eerie possibilities, trying to find parallels between what I was reading and what I was observing in society. We are witnessing so much propaganda which may not be as obvious as some of the hilarious pro-Stalin and pro-Mao posters that I’ve seen online and in history books, but it’s there in an often subtler form. I think one of the scariest parts for me was seeing how language can be used to manipulate and control: “All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory.’ Reality control’, they called it: in Newspeak, ‘doublethink.’ Language is definitely becoming more simplified and some of the words that are making it into the dictionary are just laughable. I kept thinking about the following Virginia Woolf quote while reading this book: “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” - Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own Freedom of mind is something I take for granted. We all want to believe we’re untouched by all this propaganda but are we really? Yes, this is definitely a cautionary tale. I wonder how many are listening.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    Hello friends. Let’s chat for a second here. This is 1984. It was written by George Orwell. Maybe you were forced to sit down and read it in high school, and you hated it because you were in high school, and you had to take quizzes and write essays and stuff as you read it. But high school is over, alright? You’re out there in the real world right now being an adult (I’m not going to say “adulting” because, come on, that’s stupid). You’re out there in the real world, you’re working, maybe in Hello friends. Let’s chat for a second here. This is 1984. It was written by George Orwell. Maybe you were forced to sit down and read it in high school, and you hated it because you were in high school, and you had to take quizzes and write essays and stuff as you read it. But high school is over, alright? You’re out there in the real world right now being an adult (I’m not going to say “adulting” because, come on, that’s stupid). You’re out there in the real world, you’re working, maybe in college or pursuing another form of higher education. You have a spouse or something, kids, a pet, a car. You have your own place. You make your own decisions. It’s a different day and age. That’s what I’m saying. No one is going to come force you to read, okay? No one is expecting you to read this book and write a 500 word essay about the symbolism or whatever. I’m just a regular guy out here making a simple suggestion. I’m nobody. I’m just an average dude wandering around my slice of North America with basic thoughts and opinions about things. All I’m suggesting if you read this book sometime. Especially now. Yeah, it’s still relevant. Yeah, it’s still creepy. Yeah, Orwell is right about a lot of this stuff. Here we are in 2018 and a book called 1984 written in 1949 is still important. Alright? Just take some time to read it. It doesn’t have to be now. Not tomorrow. Not even soon, I guess. Just sometime before you die. Maybe sometime in the next few months. Just fit it into your busy schedule and your stack of books. You know what it’s about. You know you should read it. You know people love it. What are you waiting for? It’s not gonna show up on your doorstep begging to be read. Get out and go get it. Sit down and read it. That’s all. Talk to you guys later.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kaya

    “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” Orwell caught me off guard. After a slow start, the novel picked up the pace. It was depressing, dark and hopeless. For some reason, every time Winston's name is mentioned, I think of Winston Churchill. This is not a story about revolution or making world a better place, but the story about a corrupted power and what you get if you connect two incompatible ideologies - fascism and Marxism. It's brilliant. By the year 1984, the “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” Orwell caught me off guard. After a slow start, the novel picked up the pace. It was depressing, dark and hopeless. For some reason, every time Winston's name is mentioned, I think of Winston Churchill. This is not a story about revolution or making world a better place, but the story about a corrupted power and what you get if you connect two incompatible ideologies - fascism and Marxism. It's brilliant. By the year 1984, the world has been divided up into three major nations - Eurasia, Eastasia and Oceania. Oceania is where our protagonist lives. The one Party rules and Big Brother reigns, watches and controls everything. There's only one language and it's the Newspeak, or rather some kind of an anti-language, whose purpose is to limit speech and understanding and leads to the loss of literature. Individuality is frowned upon and leads to being labelled as a traitor of the Party. The nation is always at war, words are disappearing from the vocabulary, everyone are monitored through telecasters, even bad thoughts are a crime. As much as we know, only one man knows something is wrong and not even he is ready to fight for the change. The world-building is so fully described, detailed and terrifying that it looks like Orwell visited such place and wrote it all down. The society in the book has no written laws, but many acts, mostly bad thoughts, are punishable by death. The main message is that censorship and brainwashing are a key to a greater power. Orwell explores the idea of how we are controlled in life and how we control others in return. At times, he suggests war brings peace and unity, whether it's the war with ourselves or with others. I don't think that anyone has done a better job in showing realistic nightmare of a society without basic civil rights and a government with complete and unchallenged control. I believe every single person who had read this book recognized some similarities between the plot and the societies nowadays. It's a cold and cruel vision of the world in which people can be forgiven for hating and violence. This novel brings up a few questions. Does controlling the truth and history enable us to control how other people think? Who is the real enemy? Is it a few sociopaths who control everything or the rest of us when we act like sheep? It bring up the everlasting dilemma - was Hitler really the one to blame or 90% of Germans who voted for him? Those methods of controlling life will eventually kill what makes life worth living. Freedom of mind is something we all should take for granted. We all want to believe we’re untouched by governments' propaganda, but are we? Why humans feel the need to destroy and control each other? This book is bleak, lifeless, frightening, disturbing and extraordinary. A book from 60 years ago, set 30 years in the past, is still horribly relevant today. "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” And let's not forget the most famous and disturbing 2+2=5. When you think about it, ever since tribes were formed, maybe even before that, there always was some kind of a war. Even today we can speak of informal Third War that is happening right know in Africa and Asia. It's almost like humans feel more comfortable in war than in peace. "Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing." This quote speaks for itself. “In the face of pain there are no heroes.” This sentence is crucial for the last third of the book. For those who haven't read it yet, there is only one way to find out what Orwell meant with this quote. READ THE BOOK NOW. I must admit, the ending wasn't what I have expected, though there was no other way it could've ended. I won't say it's was a tragic ending, but it was necessary. Winston is smarter than many other citizens, but he is also discontent, paranoid, weak-willed and passive-aggressive. He's not special in any way nor young, attractive or strong. He doesn't find strength within himself, he doesn't "save the world". Maybe the fact that he's unsuccessful is what is important about 1984. He tries, he fails, and he could be any one of us. “To die hating them, that was freedom.” Well, at least he had a goal. Winston's relationship with Julia was tender and a necessary escape from the reality. Unfortunately, their bond is established purely on physical attraction. He treats her like she's a sex toy. He thought of her as someone with limited intelligence and had to be patiently told each detail that others could immediately comprehend. In a way, Julia is our true hero of the novel because she was the only one who made even small attempts at being genuinely happy. “You're only a rebel from the waist downwards,' he told her.” One of the rare humorous moments in the book. Check out my blog!

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