1984 - George Orwell
Reading Challenge Category: Book from Bucket List Poster
Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, his dystopian vision of a government that will do anything to control the narrative is timelier than ever... Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thoughtcrimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can’t escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching... A startling and haunting vision of the world, 1984 is so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the influence of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.
So, I’ve seen many people referring to this book in reference to how our world is these days with thoughts and opinions being censored. So, I decided it was about time I gave it a read and finally scratch a book off the Bucket List Poster I have. For a book written in 1948, it was a relatively easy read. Often, books of age are a heavy read in terms of the style it is written in; this was in places, but overall, it was relatively easy to get through. Saying that, even though the style was well executed, the storyline itself wasn’t that interesting. So, the book didn’t capture my attention for long, and I found my mind wandering and coming back in and realising I’d missed a huge chunk. This is reflected in how long it took me to read it; nine days for me to read a 300-page book is unheard of. I was freaked out when I started to read as Winston writes the date 4th April 1984 at the beginning of his diary, and I had chosen the 4th April, purely by coincidence, to start reading this. I think this strange poignancy made me keep on reading even when, at times, I wanted to give up. The book is divided into three parts. First, we are getting to know Winston and his comrades and their life in this dystopian future. Not a lot is given away in regards to the actual rules or why everyone accepts what is happening. It just is. I found that quite frustrating; I wanted to know the laws so as to imagine how I would feel. The second part, the dynamic, changes and is probably the most interesting part of the book. However, at the end of this section, there is a 58-minute chapter that I thought would never end. It was obviously the author’s opportunity to spout a lot of political propaganda to the reader in the guise of a handbook from the opposition. I just couldn’t take it in; it was repetitive and boring. Highlights from the book would have served a better point or bullet points. The third section is somewhat confusing as you aren’t sure what the outcome will be. You have no idea how much time is passing or what is really expected from Winston. I finished the book feeling rather deflated; it had seemed a pointless read. Even though I think our current world is going crazy, I’m not sure I would liken anything to what happened in this book because do we really know what happened? It just seemed like random ramblings from one person’s point of view. It did remind me a lot of The Handmaid’s Tale in the way it didn’t give much away. The character is already ensconced in this strange world, and we are following just one person’s perspective. I’m glad I read it so that I can say I have, and it was, in a way, worth persevering through it. I often felt like giving up on it, but it just didn’t feel right to do so. It won’t be one I ponder on and will be quickly forgotten. However, now I can get a coin and scratch off a square on my poster!
- Date Started
- 4th April 2021
- Date Finished
- 12th April 2021
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