BOOK COVER BLURB
Set in Oceania, one of the three inter-continental superstates that divided the world among themselves after a global war, Orwell’s masterful critique of the political structures of the time, works itself out through the story of Winston Smith, a man caught in the webs of a dystopian future, and his clandestine love affair with Julia, a young woman he meets during the course of his work for the government. As much as it is an entertaining read, Nineteen Eighty-Four is also a brilliant, and more importantly a timeless satirical attack on the social and political structures of the world.
The plot is pretty much outlined on the book cover and so I knew what to expect. As I’ve never read the political genre, I didn’t know what to think about it at first. My knowledge of world politics is as poor as it can get and I was a bit reluctant to read it in the first place. But this year I wanted to go out of my comfort zone and I ended up actually reading it. *pats herself on the shoulder*
The story follows Winston who for some reason doesn’t like the Party. The Party, in simple language, follows a dictatorship kind of structure. There is absolutely no freedom. No freedom of speech and no freedom to think anything against the Party as well. There are strict rules and the people not following them, well, end up getting kidnapped or disappear and we all know what happens then. Their records are completely destroyed and it would look like they didn’t exist at all. There were public executions and people were hanged and burnt in a public place. The children all get excited to watch the executions. Pretty gruesome punishment. Pretty weird children.
This book, being a classic, was sure to deliver the plot greatly. And it somehow did. And I being an unsocial worm didn’t help. There was something satirical (as mentioned in the blurb) that I couldn’t get. I simply read on because 1) I didn’t understand the satire and, 2) why would I stop? I was certainly not going to read a history lesson to complete the book. Thankfully there were not many incidents.
The main characters were three people. One being Winston – he was the person who kept his head low and carried on with his work. But then he was not happy. He loathed his life. Until he decided on his personal revolution – writing in his diary about how he opposed the Party.
Julia was a co-worker and she too decided to betray the Party and carry on with her love affair with Winston. She seemed like such a weird person to me. Half the time she replied to Winston with phrases that seemed to have double meaning. And the other half of the time, she slept. Winston mentions at least three times in the book that she was sleeping when he was talking to her or reading something to her. And then I began thinking about how she could have been the spy. But the plot twist was not what I expected.
The third character was O’Brien, whom Winston thought was with him. He even offered them a position in the Brotherhood (the group of people trying to oppose the Party).
At first I almost thought it would be the Victorian-Shakespeare English for reason, but then it was so simple to read. The actual satire went above my head (no worries, I’m sure you’ll know about it) but the rest of the novel was decent. I had to apply my brains while reading it and sometimes that was tough. We’re not always alert and making use of our brains.
The overall story appeared to be new to me (even if it was written in 1942) among all the love triangles and sexy vampire stories going on in the bookish industry.
I think I was more dumbstruck by it the day I finished reading it and would have even given it 5 stars but now, after 4 days to completing it and analyzing it in my head countless times, I think I’d give it a 3.5 or 4 maybe. I don’t seem to know of a perfect number to categorize this into. But 3.5 stars seems to be appropriate.
You’ll like it if:
- You’re into political genre or its kinds.
- You like books with a good plot twist. You’ll never guess the ending.
- You’d like experiment outside your comfort zone.
- You’d like to try reading a classic for once.
- You’d like an intense novel which will make you think.
You’ll not like it if:
- You’re not into political genre.
- You don’t like books with unexpected endings. Gosh, they’re frightening!
- You’d like to stick to your comfort zone.
- You’d never try to read a classic.
- You’d read a light-read instead.
Have you read Nineteen Eighty-Four? How do you find it? If you’ve not read it, would you try to read it?