theduckthief's Reviews > 1984

1984 by George Orwell
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Jun 21, 2008

liked it

"The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed--would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper--the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you."

Written in 1949, this book is George Orwell's imagining of a dystopian future where Big Brother is the ultimate control freak. Those in power, the Inner Party, control the actions in their own ranks and those of the the Outer Party who could also be termed the Middle Class.

The world has split into three super governments. Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia with a constant war brewing between one or the other. This book take place in Oceania and concerns one Winston Smith. We watch as he suffers through a life where a telescreen (read creepy camera surveillance) watches his every move and monitors his heartbeat and facial expressions for anything that could indicate he might be a dissident.

People disappear every day in his life and everything is regulated. The Inner Party is even writing dictionaries to limit and dictate what people can talk about. Every subsequent dictionary is smaller, with fewer words because the party believes that by controlling words they can control thought. After all, if you never heard the word 'lemon' would you ever know what it was?

What I liked was how accessible this book was even after almost 60 years. While some parts seemed quite archaic I found the piece quite modern and easy to read. The only place I was a little put off was the sentence "Winston's entrails seemed to grow cold." There was just something about that line that didn't work for me.

The story moved along at a quick pace and then immediately got bogged down when Winston started reading "the book". Whether Orwell started to suffer from soapbox hysteria, spouting his own ideals and morals from his book, I don't know. What I do know is the story started to drag and I got bored with all the technical gobbledegook that didn't move the plot along.

Orwell completely lost me at the end. It was as if the story had unraveled. When I reached part three I assumed the story would pick up again and quickly come to a conclusion. Things only became more confusing, especially where O'Brien was concerned. And Winston's transition at the end felt as if it was skimmed over. The very ending was a little surreal as well, though I don't know if it was meant to be. The first two thirds were amazing though and I would recommend the book just for that.

The sad thing is that I really got into this book. I completely devoured it and in the end I was disappointed. I would almost recommend reading up to the point where Winston receives the book and then stop.
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05/26/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Ellen Keim I agree about the part where he starts reading the book.

message 2: by Dinah (new)

Dinah I like your icon! =]

Charbel I just finished reading this book and this is exactly how I feel about it. I'm still waiting to be proved otherwise since everyone says that it's an excellent book.

Audrey I completely agree. Though it was more difficult for me to get into this book because I had to read it for class, once part 2 came along I was pleased because the story actually picked up. But then when Orwell actually included 30 or so pages of "Goldstein's book", I was complaining for days. It was semi interesting, yet SO DRY and long winded. When I got to part 3 and finished the book off, I too was disappointed. The whole part seemed disconnected and unrealistic especially with the pacing. AND, the 30 page drought I managed to read through seemed pointless and unecessary to the conclusion.

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