A look into the future in a bizarre way
I have heard a lot about 1984. Some said it was an amazing book while other said that the book was terrible and boring. 1984 gave 2 sides of opinion. Where did I stand?
Although I have heard so much about 1984, but what made me decided to read it was simply because Muse (Matt Bellamy to be exact) made their songs based on this book. When I first heard United State of Eurasia, I was curious “What is Eurasia?” Then I found an interview saying that it was highly influenced by 1984. The album, The Resistance, was also influenced by it. What was so special about it?
To summarize the story is a bit difficult. In short, it is about a future where dictatorship turned to worst case scenario. But saying something like that will not do any justice for the book.
The book was written in 1949, and George Orwell created a future that took place in 1984. At that time, there were 3 Superstates; Oceania (America, the Atlantic Islands, British Isles, Australasia, southern portion of Africa), Eurasia (northern part of Europe, Asiatic land-mass, from Portugal to the Bering Strait) and Eastasia (China Japan, Manchuria, Mongolia and Tibet). The story was centered in Oceania through the life of a man named Winston Smith.
The citizen was divided into2 group, the party and the prole. The Party lived under constant watch by the government while the Prole may live as free as they liked. The most dangerous crime was ThoughtCrime. Somehow, the inner party would find out any bad thought that the outer party had toward Big Brother. Winston was one of few people who questioned things declared by Big Brother, he hated him. Things became worse when Julia told him that she loved him. Love was something the government tried to erase from human’s heart. The question that rose from this book was whether Winston can escape the Thought Police to see inside his thought or not.
There were so many crazy ideas on how to control people. It was really interesting to read how they managed to deceive people in a way they didn’t notice. If 1984 really happens, I hate to be in that kind of world. A world where I have no control of.
When I read the first few pages, I instantly understood why the book drawn Bellamy so much. It was so full of frontal conspiracy. The way the Superstate controlled the citizens was so based upon distrust and brainstorming. The people hardly have any friend because they were afraid their ‘friend’ will turn them to Though Police, even the children report their parents to Thought Police.
There was an element that makes me feel that 1984 and Battle Royale by Koushun Takami are somehow connected. It was like seeing the most unpleasant dictatorship in different perspective, Battle Royale was much crueler than 1984 and 1984 was much wiser than Battle Royale. I guess that connection was the reason why I enjoyed 1984.
There were 3 parts in this book, the first part was very strong. The description of Oceania condition was very heartfelt. The second one was a bit boring. I skimmed the pages when it talked about the book of Goldstein, that part was like reading politic propaganda…so not my kind of read. The third part was also very interesting. Brainwashing can be achieved through pain and fear.
I dare said that 1984 is a great and powerful book. I can fully understand why some people find it hard to like it….it is definitely not a book that can be enjoyed by everyone.
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
About the Author:
George Orwell (pseudonym of Eric Blair) was born in Bengal and educated in Eton; after service with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, he returned to Europe to earn his living penning novels and essays. He was essentially a political writer who focused his attention on his own times, a man of intense feelings and fierce hates. An opponent of totalitarianism, he served in the Loyalist forces in the Spanish Civil war. Besides his classic Animal Farm, his works included a novel based on his experiences as a colonial policeman, Burmese Days; two firsthand studies of poverty, Down and Out in Paris and London and The Road to Wigan Pier; an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil war, Homage to Catalonia; and the extraordinary novel of political prophecy whose title became part of our language,1984.
Author: George Orwell
Pages: 326 pages
Publisher: New American Library
Challenge: New Author Challenge 2011, Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge 2011, What’s In The Name 4 Reading Challenge for number.