What can I say about this book that has not been said already. For me, 1984 may be a work of fiction, but it gets so close to being prophetic that it is scary.
Let us remember that George Orwell wrote this book in that late 1940s and published it in 1950. Think of the technology that he lived with, then think of the technology that he put in to his book, now I want you to think of the technology around us… scary, right?
One of the main aspects of the story that I feel is a real part of our world today is Newspeak. Those of the inner party would develop meanings for words so that they could control the conversation and thoughts of the people. Orwell believed that through controlling the words the people could use, you could then control the thoughts they were capable of having. We see this happening around us all the time.
There is also the foreshadowing of rewriting history, It gets to the point that Winston Smith, the protagonist of the story, confuses who are the national allies and who the enemy is. You only need to look at the history of US involvement in the middle east to see that most Americans do not know which country is our ally and which is our enemy, and once you figure it out… it will change.
Orwell is a master at drawing you into his story. Many times while reading 1984 I felt fear for what was to come next. My heart would beat faster as I was hoping Winston would not get caught doing the things he did. I will not spoil the story but there is a scene with a rat that still gives me the hebegebees.
Recently Penguin books has re-released 1984 with a “censored” cover. Very fitting when you consider the content of the book.
1984 is a classic for a reason, everyone should read it at least once in their life. If you have not read it, fit it into your reading schedule. If you have, read it again.
Until next time…