George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four
Reviewed by Grady
1984 is highly thought provoking and is still relevant and inspirational today after almost sixty years in print. Orwell's dystopian nightmare centers on Winston Smith, a man who has become critical of his government but can not protest or even be seen writing his complaints in a journal without risking being executed by the authorities. In this world opening a journal is Thought Crime and would result in the Thought Police stepping in and killing him. The government has found ways to suppress every kind of dissent down to the removal of rebellious language. Within this dark environment, Winston tries to express his true beliefs in his diary, work for the underground rebellion, and form relationships with people in ways that his government doesn't approve of. This novel shifted the way I viewed government. Through 1984 I saw the ways that modern government is subtly oppressing its citizens and the potential for things to get worse. More than anything 1984 shows the psychology of oppression. Winston must categorize not only his actions but his thoughts into what he is allowed to think and what is Thought Crime. His personality is shifted by the oppression and it becomes the central force in his life. The paranoia of the characters is also very powerful. The children join a Boy Scout-like organization called the Spies and inform on any adult that they suspect of thought crime. This makes home a scary place to be for any parent as the government enforces its power on them through their children. Orwell breathes life into this story through its melancholy tone. Everything seems to be in a state of decay, most people are devoid of hope and those with any hope left devote it to advancing the power of their government. However cold it may be, 1984 is a brilliant novel and is necessary in its negativity.
For the ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle (home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics) he feels himself master of his fate, but against major events he is as helpless as against the elements. So far from endeavouring to influence the future, he simply lies down and lets things happen to him.
George Orwell (1903–1950), "Inside the Whale", Inside the Whale and Other Essays, 1940.
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.Posted by library at June 26, 2008 03:04 PM
George Orwell (1903–1950), Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1949.