Anna's Reviews > 1984

1984 by George Orwell
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Feb 29, 2008

really liked it

** spoiler alert ** Quotes: (I know there’s a lot of them, but trust me I had more)
"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"

"If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say this or that even, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death."

“In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."

"It was like swimming against a current that swept you backwards however hard you struggled, and then suddenly deciding to turn round and go with the current instead of opposing it. Nothing had changed except your own attitude; the predestined thing happened in any case."

“He fell asleep murmuring ‘sanity is not statistical,’ with the feeling that this remark contained in it a profound wisdom.”

“In our society, those who have the best knowledge of what is happening are also those who are the furthest from seeing the world as it is. In general, the greater the understanding, the greater the delusion: the more intelligent, the less sane.”

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell follows the life of Winston Smith a member of the totalitarian state of London in 1984. The Party, lead by Big Brother, controls and sees all through the power of thought police and telescreens. Winston is discontented with his present sate of being; he suspects something is quite wrong with the party. So he buys a diary and starts to write down his thoughtcrimes. He believes that a secret brotherhood exists who plan to overthrow the party, though this is only legendary. Winston works in the Ministry of Truth, which purpose is to create lies. Winston’s job is to correct inaccuracies of the past, to fit with the party’s present need. One day at work a girl named Julia passes him a note reading “I love you.” And so begins their long secret love affair, meets in secret and immaculate plans to not get caught. Eventually they find a room where they can meet more often. After a while O’Brien contacts Winston and fulfills his suspicion that O’Brien is actually part of the brotherhood. Both Julie and Winston go to O’Brien’s house to become full fledged members of this secret society. They read a book about the party, the war and the slogans: "War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength." However the thoughtpoilice catch up to them in their secret room, and they are brought to the Ministry of Love. O’Brian was not actually part of the brotherhood, but instead worked for the Ministry of Love. Julia and Winston are separated and Winston is put through months of torture and brainwash to ‘cure’ him from his disloyalty to the party. After a while Winston is brought to room 101 where O’Brian puts a cage full of rats on Winston’s head and threatens to open the cage door. Winston finally recants and tells O’Brian to “do it to Juila” that is what O’Brian needed. Winston is released to the outside world, he meets Julia again but nothing is there. In the end Winston is successfully brainwashed, he accepts and adheres to the Party, and he loves Big Brother.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I found it very well written and easily readable. I like the point of view of the author, it was very useful and unique, and at times I felt that I was the telescreen or a secret mike listening in on Winston’s life. I thought the author did a great job with the characters and their progression through the novel. I found all of the authors themes of power, language (as meaning of thought control) and the past controlling the present relevant and well-thought out. Possibly the single thing I didn’t like was the ending. Some part of me thought that in some way Winston was going to be able to come out of this unharmed. I didn’t want to believe that the protagonist could lose after fighting so hard. And I was pretty crushed when I read that last line “He loved Big brother.” I think the book needed that kind of ending, but I wish that there was a way for it to end better. This book deserve every single one of the five stars that i gave it, and i recommend this book. And hopefully 2+2 will never equal 5!
11 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read 1984.
Sign In »

Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-2 of 2) </span> <span class="smallText">(2 new)</span>

dateDown arrow    newest »

Stephanie It's been too long since I've read this. You bring it all back. Definitely, "1984" is a popular culture icon. It's taught in some schools (though I'm glad it wasn't in any way ruined for you!). Yet, crazy how relevant the themes are for our earlier worldview discussion.

I really liked this quote: “In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."

As soon as our belief becomes "the party line" and we cease to think things through, we become unconscious. Good stuff.


message 2: by Archer (new)

Archer I have downloaded PDF version in english and france but haven't read.

back to top