1984

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.

Book details:

Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Language: English
Pages: 326 pages
Publisher: New American Library
Rating:
Challenge: New Author Challenge 2011, Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge 2011, What’s In The Name 4 Reading Challenge for number.

17 thoughts on “1984

  1. I knew you’d read this book! I’m sure some Muse fans at least have the slightest curiosity to read it. I find it amazing too even though it took me quite a while to excess the story and fully understand it. (First read it in 10th grade, and my English was rather limited *findexcuses* :p)

    Although, Muse was my influence, but it wasn’t “United States of Eurasia” that ignited my curiosity. It was “Citizen Erased”. I’ve read it somewhere Matt was inspired by the book whilst writing this song. I find it amazing that 8 years later he’s still inspired! (and still great and powerful!)

    1. Hahaha I wonder if there is a muse fans out there who isn’t curious with 1984…but not all muse fans will end up reading it and liking it. Fortunately, I like it.

      Able to read that book while you were still im 10th grade is an amazin effort. That book contains a lot of difficult vocabulary.

      That’s a new news to me, I didn’t know that Citizen Erased is based on that book too…now that you’ve said it, I can see the connection there. 1984 sure has great impact on Matt.

  2. Glad you liked this. It is one of my favourite. I read it in 2009 and love it. Which reminds me I need to put George Orwell picture up as my favourite author!

    1. I read the book in total blankness…all I know is that it’s a dystophian story. I am glad I don’t know much about the book and expected nothing out of it. It really reminds me of my favorite Japanese book, Battle Royale.

      How may favorite author do you have, Jo?

  3. This book is one I would like to read someday. I have always put off reading it because I saw it as a movie when I was a little girl. It was a very mature, movie for a young girl to watch.

    1. I could undestand how you felt. I would be confuse if I watched a movie with this kind of story in my much younger age.

      I am curious with the movie, is it just like the book or they changed a lot of things.

  4. I loved Orvell’s ANIMAL FARM. It was spooky to read in it about things so many countries in my part of the world went through even though the book is metaphorical.

    1. Animal Farm will definitely be my next Orwell’s book. But it won’t be anytime soon as I have pledged not to buy new books till my to-read books on my shelf decreased to at least 3 books.

      Your comment makes me want to read it even more. I wonder what he did toward European countries in that book.

  5. I read this a very long time ago at the same time with Aldou Huxley’s Brave New World which I did prefer but I think 1984 is powerful. When the wall in Berlin came down, and the so-called Iron Curtain was lifted, it became obvious that the totalitarina Eastern Countries had a lot in common with this. If you ever watch one of the German movies I wrote about recently, The Lives of Others, you will see exactly this constant watching and supervising of people.

    1. Someone also told me to read Brave New World…I will try to look for it, but as I said to Dezmond, I won’t be looking for it anytime soon.
      Is the book has exactly the same atmosphere?

      I would like to watch all the movies you have shared in your post, they all sounds really good. I dont know if I can stand being in constant watch

  6. I would love to read this book. I know its a total classic and one of those stories that you know so much about. I must try and start to do more reading. I don’t seem to get a lot of time between work and the kids.

    Thanks for sharing Novia

    1. Actually, I dont know much about the book, Matthew Belamy is the one that make aware of the book existance.
      I don’t have much time to read either…I always read while I was on the bus. I use my time at home to watch movie and online

      thank you for reading my review C

  7. Interesting thoughts. When I first read this as a teen, I got really angry and maintained for several years that I hated the book. But once I figured out that I hated it because it highlighted a truth about the naivety of certain types of social change movements that at the time I didn’t want to admit to, I became a big fan. It kind of shaped my entire worldview when it comes to the ideology that is at the centre of a lot of social activism groups.

    As to the book within a book, that is my favourite part, precisely because it is about the nature of propaganda. It is essential to the book, and leads to the crushingly weak end. The book within a book is highlighting the massive difference between persuasive argument born out of integrity and sincerity vs intelligence and a nefarious execution of high presentation skills. Which is why it angered me when I was young – I didn’t want to have it highlighted that any organisation that simplifies it’s attitude towards social change through believing that their own presentation of honesty, integrity and commitment will be mirrored back to them in those they deal with. I was a bit of a anticapitalist and it made me very depressed.

    Btw, thanks for the nice words x

    1. Thank you for sharing your thought on 1984, Hels.

      i think the reason I didn’t enjoy the book within the book is because it didn’t feel like reading a fiction book anymore…and I am not the kind of person that enjoy non-fiction book. Maybe when I reread the book,I will not skim on the book of Goldstein.

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