I read this book in a class entitled "The Book Was Better." I was fully aware that I would have to watch the movie version afterwards. I was also full...moreI read this book in a class entitled "The Book Was Better." I was fully aware that I would have to watch the movie version afterwards. I was also fully aware that I tend to prefer books largely over movies. My teachers informed the class to not do that yet. "This is my third favorite book and second favorite movie of all time," one teacher stated. I tried and I tried not to get too attached to the novel version before I had seen the movie.
I have to say, I failed terribly and I don't particularly care. The characters, the plot, the point of view, and the writing itself combined to capture me in a truly unique and interesting story told by one of the Beatniks--my new favorite group of people to study.(less)
One of the most popular teen reads of all time and I was terribly disappointed. I should have loved this book. It should be my favorite book as it is...moreOne of the most popular teen reads of all time and I was terribly disappointed. I should have loved this book. It should be my favorite book as it is with many teenagers. It is exactly something I should love. This is especially true because The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is my favorite book. However, I honestly dislike this book a lot. It took me months to get through which was unusual for me at the time. In the end, I found it boring, predictable and I felt it really went no where. Nothing of importance happened, Holden did not grow or even do anything besides rebel and be a complete idiot. That kind of story can be all well and fine if the character has at least one redeeming quality. Holden has none. He is possibly one of the most annoying characters I have ever encountered. After letting it sit in my mind for over a year I have to not hate it but I certainly do not like it and I did not enjoy reading it.(less)
George Orwell presents the world and the future: Oceania, a communistic society run by the Party and symbolically headed by Big Brother. "Big Brother...moreGeorge Orwell presents the world and the future: Oceania, a communistic society run by the Party and symbolically headed by Big Brother. "Big Brother is watching you" has become a staple, iconic phrase to utter in our society by liberals and anarchists worried about the size and control of the government. It all originated from this highly regarded novel written many, many years ago.
None of this was lost on me as a journeyed through Winston Smith's experience as a Party member who began questioning the Party, it's ways, Oceania, and Big Brother himself. Winston recognizes the control that the Party tries to have over its members and the Proles (the common people, very low in society) as inappropriate and detrimental to human life and freedom. Okay, he realized it was downright wrong and absolute insanity.
Before I read this novel, I was very excited to finally read it as it was supposed to encompass all of my ideas on (read: fears of) the government and the way it is progressing in modern society. I did get those ideas, they were all there in an intricately planned dystopia created by George Orwell. However, while reading, I found myself asking whether it was the book that had helped to form these ideas in my head before I even read it.
I wondered this because, as I read, I recognized just how much this novel shaped our society and future literature. Throughout my childhood, my schooling, my literary history, I most definitely heard many, many references to Nineteen Eighty-Four, Big Brother, and the infamous communistic society in Oceania. It is not the most captivating novel, not the most eloquent. Orwell is a fine writer, the book is well organized and very well thought out but he is no Shakespeare. I appreciate the book for its ideas and its historical prevalence.
I enjoyed the novel for what it was, what it represented and what it has done for political thought through the decades since it was published. I must admit it is not my favorite, it took me a painfully long time to get through, it dragged at times, its plot was slightly weak and relied too much on the atrocious ideas of the Party to drive the reader to finish the novel.
I recommend this book to all thinkers, all members of society, and especially all left-winged people. It is something that everyone should read, but don't be disappointed by its inability to completely captivate you in every chapter.(less)