Sean Barrs the Bookdragon's Reviews > Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
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really liked it
bookshelves: 4-star-reads
Recommended for: fahrenheit 451 fans

“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.
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Reading Progress

June 9, 2018 – Started Reading
June 9, 2018 – Shelved
June 22, 2018 – Shelved as: 4-star-reads
June 22, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-14)

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Morgan I actually like Animal Farm better, but I didn't really care for that book either...GASP!

message 13: by Dan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dan Morgan you need your pulse checked.

message 12: by Dan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dan Sean you need to read homage to Catalonia too

Sean Barrs the Bookdragon Morgan wrote: "I actually like Animal Farm better, but I didn't really care for that book either...GASP!"

I never really liked thd sound of it, though i feel lile it's somethkng i HAVE to read.

Sean Barrs the Bookdragon Dan wrote: "Sean you need to read homage to Catalonia too"

I'll see how i get in with this first. ;)

César Romo Castro The message of this book is very relevant nowadays. Hope you like it!

Juliette Cross Love this book so much. Happy reading.

message 7: by Dan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dan I did not think much of animal farm. But 1984 is a very special book indeed.

message 6: by Rae (new) - added it

Rae Such a good read. Hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Sean Barrs the Bookdragon I've got my fingers crossed! :D

Dean the Phantasy Guru The scariest book I've ever read.

lainlainespo what a great read. it was an instant favourite.

Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads) Great review. I've read this only once and it was many years ago but it has stayed with me for all its haunting relevance!

message 1: by Margaret (new)

Margaret This book was published in 1949. I keep trying to think about it in terms of where we've been since then to now. Wow.

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