domingo, 7 de abril de 2013

1984 by George Orwell

The Premise

Big Brother stares out from every poster on the street; he will not tolerate dissent, not even in the mind and for that reason he relies on the Thought Police to uncover every act of betrayal ... 
Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party, works for the Ministry of Truth and he's responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. Like any other person in Oceania, he follows the Party's ideology but when he falls in love with Julie, he discovers that life can be different and awakens to new possibilities. They begin to question the Party and they are drawn towards conspiracy ... but at what cost?

My Thoughts:

Reading this book was an interesting experience. There's a lot to take in but also to make us think and question what we know. 

What was really engaging about this book was the world created by George Orwell because of all the detail he put into it but also because of the Party's ideology and how people complied without questioning it. All the surveillance and control in Oceania was quite disturbing and, I have to admit, sometimes scared me! It was so different from what we know today and from what we believe to be righteous, especially because the Party controls every single aspects of someone's life, including what they eat and drink, what type of workouts they do and, most shockingly, their thoughts.

Something that really impressed me was how they manipulated past occurrences just to make them fit the present but also how they would get away with it ... the idea that we can't change the past and that it's unalterable doesn't apply in this book.

I wasn't that impressed with the characters of this book. It was interesting to know so much about Winston and see how conflicted he was about his beliefs- he knew he should obey blindly to the Party's ideology but at the same time he would question it. His character really grew on the third part of the book but I won't say much about it because I don't want to spoil it to those of you who haven't read it yet. As far as Julie is concerned I have to say that I was a little disappointed by her - I actually didn't like her that much. She seemed a bit childish and selfish as far as her resistance to the Party's ideology goes; she would only be against the Party if it affected her private life and she didn't even bother to question the foundations and what had led to the implementation of the current political system.

In my opinion this book is more than just a novel; it's and essay about society and politics that in spite of the fact that it was published in 1949, it's still thought provoking and it makes us question a lot and compare what we now know with what is described in this novel. It's not a light read but definitely worthwhile; sometimes it's violent and grim especially because we are reading about a regime that is quite stern and doesn't allow people to be themselves and where family and friends are depreciated. 

An astonishing book and a must read! 5 out of 5 stars

This is the Portuguese cover

2 comentários:

Carol Ford disse...

Hello, new follower through GFC. It has been many years since I have read this one. You have piqued my curiousity once again and I may need to find this book again and re-read it.

Ana Costa disse...

I'm glad that my review has sparked your interest :)
One day I'll probably re-read this book too

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