Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

“War is peace. 

Freedom is slavery. 

Ignorance is strength.”

The Party in Nineteen Eighty-Four

             We have all wondered what Big Brother was all about. What a government controlling and manipulating every single thing we do would look like; from going to work, to eating, to procreating, to breathing. Would it turn out to be something close to an army of ants? Obeying to one queen. Working like robots with a strict routine on a daily basis. Assuring the basic needs for the common and greater good. Famous author George Orwell brilliantly imagined a future that no man wishes to live in. Not only did he take on the burden of fancying a future completely plausible and at the same time dystopian, he also manages to create a tale that portrays an idea bigger than man. A timeless idea that even today we are able to pinpoint its fundamental premises throughout our current way of life. Written in 1949, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) is a dystopian novel that follows the adventures of Winston Smith. Working for the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One, he starts to question the totalitarian regime in which he is plunged in. Under constant surveillance thanks to telescreens and the Thought Police, Winston winds up falling in love with a woman who seems to go against the principles of the Party. He then sets sail on a journey where he gradually questions his life. Getting the reader’s to indulge a future where expression and freedom aren’t even luxuries but taboos, this novel grabs you by the throat and gets you analyzing one of the most feared regime’s a government could set in motion.

             What would it be like when the beauty of words and the gift of being able to define with so much accuracy everything you feel and dream were all taken away from us? Taken away from you only to increase the leader’s power and control on the population. Taken away from you only to disarm the people’s greatest strength?This novel got me reflecting on the small things that we take for granted every day of our lives. Ingeniously executed, George Orwell wrote one the most intriguing and captivating story. He manages to make me read pages and pages of his story with my eyes widely opened and jaw dropped. One could say it’s a lot of praise for this classic novel, but I personally adored this novel. The story is written in a way to keep you engaged to the protagonist’s thought process in a way that makes you want Winston Smith to acknowledge the terrible things that the Party is taking away from the people. SPOILER HERE: Hover over text to read. The world in which the protagonist lives might seem improbable and impossible to imagine in the near future, but George Orwell describes the universe so meticulously, without sinking us in boredom or skepticism, that everything seems so tangible. A lot of readers saw that the whole plot can almost be seen figuratively and can be perfectly applied to our current society. From propaganda, to media information manipulation, to governmental control, several ideas portrayed in this novel can easily be translated to our reality. I wouldn’t go on to say that we are naively living our lives in a totalitarian regime (speaking on behalves of our fellow Americans and Canadians). This book definitely shows us exactly what the people need to avoid. What the people need to acknowledge in order to prevent a future ridden of freedom of speech, thought and action.

“Until they becOme conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.” Winston in Nineteen Eighty-Four

             Really well executed story, George Orwell also does a great job with characters. Winston Smith is one of those characters that you want to follow throughout all his adventures. He’s the protagonist that George Orwell builds up in order to convey absolutely deep messages. Not only does Winston slowly gain the courage to defy authority, he loves anything that brings chaos and any form of vice to an incorruptible and ideal government. He’s a character that grows as the story progresses and never seems to be stagnant when it comes to his reflection on his life. In fact, this love for revolution is also shown in its most primal forms; he falls in love with Julia, a “rebel from the waist down”. SPOILER HERE: Hover over text to read. Another excellent character is O’Brien who appears as a member of the Inner Party and also a member of the Brotherhood (behind the group that represents everything opposite to the Party). The story that builds around this character will only awe readers and reveal a very interesting speculation in this novel. SPOILER HERE: Hover over text to read. Even secondary characters who only exist to accentuate and promote ideas George Orwell wants to convey are brilliantly inserted and absolutely interesting. SPOILER HERE: Hover over text to read.

             There are several ideas that George Orwell touches upon and does an amazing job at slipping them smoothly into Winston Smith’s story. One of the most interesting subjects that he touches upon in order to make sure that manipulation and control is thoroughly represented throughout the novel is speech. Doublespeech, Thoughtcrime and Newspeak. Giving you, the beloved followers and random passersby, the chance to read this novel for yourself, I won’t discuss their meaning and objectives, but what I still want to point out is how much power words can have. My girlfriend would constantly remind me of her love of words and how much they single-handedly have the power to decimate a whole population. Propaganda is by itself a perfect example of what words can do. Remember World War II? Manipulating words can do great good and even greater evil in society. Revolution is another example of what words can do. The power to convey your opposition and disagreement. The power to use the very words you’ve learned to turn a regime upside down.  But that’s where things get interesting. What happens when you don’t have the words to express your thoughts? What happens when it suddenly becomes nearly impossible to express your feelings and to put a word on every single little thing imaginable? What happens when you’re limited and restricted in what you can say? This is what George Orwell played on. This alone was an amazing asset to the novel and got me in love with this book.

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” – The Party in Nineteen Eighty-Four

             The past, the present and the future. Those concepts wield the strength to build a society in which we want to live in, but also to destroy one. Throughout the novel, you get to see Winston’s tasks at his job. He mainly focuses on changing key pieces of literature, notably journals, in order to satisfy the Party’s objectives. He’s also brought to destroy pieces that comes to contradict anything the Party is planning or has in store for its population. This solely brings us to question the veracity behind facts. If you can easily manipulate the past and can also do the same to a person’s mind, what is therefore real to them? In fact, the second quote in this review shows how much of an impact history has on our present and future. It’s only once the Proles (the population that isn’t part of the Party, which is almost 80% of them) become conscious that they can rebel against the tyrants, but even once they have rebelled, they cannot become conscious since every piece of history that was changed by the Party is false. Therefore, there’s no way for the population to re-establish what they once had. To become a society fully aware of its history. To get back what they were stolen of. The notion of time and history has been portrayed through this book as an important treasure capable of playing a huge factor in power. It truly hit me hard and made me adore this book more than I thought I would.

             Nineteen Eighty-Four should be read and reread and reread again. It contains so many ideas that helps us rejoice on the freedom of speech we’ve got. It helps us enjoy words for that they bring to our lives. This novel belongs in every household and also hides an amazing story worthy of your time. If there’s a book that is capable to make politics and basic rights absolutely interesting subjects, it’s this George Orwell’s masterpiece. Magnificently creating a society living in totalitarianism that would scare the pants off of any free man at this age and time, this book depicts beautiful ideas through an amazing story. If you haven’t, I definitely suggest you to get yourself this novel for an amazing read. Buy yourself Nineteen Eighty-Fourthrough this hyperlink !

             If you are in any way interested in this story, you could also check out the movie adaptation for Nineteen Eighty-Four, starring John Hurt, released in 1984 (isn’t that convenient):

             Have you read this novel? What did you think about George Orwell’s classic? Share your thoughts with us and this review with the world!

My overall rating: ★★★★★/

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23 thoughts on “Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

  1. Stephane says:

    That’s what Big Brother is hahaha. I’ve never read this book and never get this reference! Really nice review , so much details and I always have a big pleasure in reading your reviews !

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Thank you so much for telling me this. It really means a lot when I hear our followers tell us that they absolutely enjoy our reviews. Especially when it encourages them to try the novel for themselves ! The expression Big Brother has been used so much in our era that we sometimes forget where it originally came from. Nineteen Eighty-Four is definitely a great place to start in order to learn more on all the facets of Big Brother. Thank you again for taking your time to read my review and for dropping by ! It really is appreciated ! 😀

      -Lashaan

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  2. Mike says:

    Such an insightful review, wow ! I don’t know if people read it all but they should because it’s worth it. Man, you are one really smart man! Powerful and scary at the same time, 1984 is one of the best books out there and I’m relieved that finally someone made a decent review about it

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Thank you so much for vouching for my review ! It’s really appreciated ! I hope people will get the time and the desire to read through this review and maybe get themselves a copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four as well. It’s definitely a novel that people should try for the beauty of this masterpiece ! Honestly, thank you so much for the kind words and for dropping by to take a look at this review ! Hope we’ll see you again on our future posts ! 😉

      -Lashaan

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  3. Angelo says:

    I love this book and I’m happy I fall upon your review, Lashaan! Did you read Brave New World or Fahreinheit 451 or Biting the Sun ? These are great dystopia stories I can recommend. On the review side, propaganda and the power of words are inserted in a such thougtful subtle way. I couldnt think of anything better than this story to illustrate that. Well, it was really nice of you to mention your girlfriend I saw the Bloggers page you guys should continue and have a long lasting love life . Best , Angelo

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read the review. Glad to hear your love this book cause it’s definitely a beautiful piece by George Orwell. I’ve read Fahrenheit 451 and I’ve got Brave New World on my to-read-list ! I haven’t heard of Biting the Sun but we will definitely look into it (we have a thing for dystopia novels; she introduced me to them and got me hooked to them just as much as she is). Thank you so much for the kind words again ! We’d love to hear more about your thoughts on our future posts ! Hope you’ll stick around ! 😉

      -Lashaan

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  4. killkenny16 says:

    Awesome review! I straight-up love this book, even if it did lead to the cliche of referring to a government that you don’t agree with as a “Big Brother” (Which I’ve admittedly been guilty of, recently).

    It’s absolutely an important book that should be read in school and frequently thereafter, but… Damn, why are all political philosophers so damn pessimistic about what the future brings? I get that the Forties were crap, but I think the situation has gotten significantly better since then, right? (Well, at least in the sense that the Western World isn’t a giant personality cult yet)

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Hahahh it sure does seem that political philosophers tend to have negative visions back in the days. I appreciate them for doing so though, it gives us a good taste of what we shouldn’t let government do. I think what they write and share witg the world is similar to disastrous historical events. We get to learn from this and aim to reach for better goals. Doesn’t hurt to have a little bit of pessismism in our lives to try and appreciate the bright sides. You still got to admit how on point George Orwell was in picturing a future with Big Brother. Thank you so much for sticking to our blog and checking out our reviews, truly appreciate it ! So glad to recognize a fellow follower ! 😉

      -Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mackenzie Blackwood says:

    Wonderfully comprehensive review! I am definitely going to pick this one up now… I’ve been putting it off for a while, but dystopian novels are kind of a weakness for me, so I’ll be reading this soon. Thank you so much for checking out my blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Thank you so much for dropping by and for the kind words ! Dystopian stories are really amazing and eye-opening. You should definitely give this classic a go ! Glad this review might have gave you the right push to go and get yourself a copy. I’m sure you’ll be astonished once you’re done. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with us, it’s absolutely fun to see people react and discuss after the reviews ! 😉

      -Lashaan

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  6. Kgothatjo Magolego says:

    Great review, really summed up all my love for this book. I think my favourite aspect of the story was when O’Brien gives Winston the book that explains Big Brother’s methods. I found the War is Peace algorithm extremely interesting. The method of sucking up resources to keep the poor, poor and the stupid, stupid is a method I think we still see in today’s world. It’s obviously not as blatant as in 1984 but the undertones are present throughout. I still rate Orwell’s Animal Farm above this one slightly but both are great books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Thank you so much for checking out OUR corner of the internet ! It’s really appreciated that you took your time to read through some of our reviews and for sharing your thoughts with us ! I totally agree with that algorithm, I should’ve added a segment on how much truth there is in it and how it easily translates to our current times, even today ! We plan on making a review of Animal Farm too in the near future, it’s an amazing piece. Short and sweet, with so much going on. So many events that actually happened (of course it was portrayed through animals). I adored that novel as well. Glad to hear we’ve found ourselves another awesome follower ! Hope to see you again on our future posts ! 😉

      -Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

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