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I got the chills so many times toward the end of this book. It completely blew my mind. It managed to surpass my high expectations AND be nothing at all like I expected. Or in Newspeak "Double Plus Good. If I sound stunningly inarticulate at times in this review, I can't help it. My mind is completely fried. This book is like the dystopian Lord of the Rings , with its richly developed culture and economics, not to mention a fully YOU.
This book is like the dystopian Lord of the Rings , with its richly developed culture and economics, not to mention a fully developed language called Newspeak, or rather more of the anti-language, whose purpose is to limit speech and understanding instead of to enhance and expand it. The world-building is so fully fleshed out and spine-tinglingly terrifying that it's almost as if George travelled to such a place, escaped from it, and then just wrote it all down.
I read Fahrenheit over ten years ago in my early teens. At the time, I remember really wanting to read , although I never managed to get my hands on it. I'm almost glad I didn't. Though I would not have admitted it at the time, it would have gone over my head. Or at the very least, I wouldn't have been able to appreciate it fully.
From the start, the author manages to articulate so many of the things I have thought about but have never been able to find a way to put into words. Even in the first few chapters I found myself having to stop just to quietly consider the words of Mr Orwell. For instance, he talks about how the act of writing itself is a type of time travel.
It is communicating with the future. I write these words now, but others may not discover them for hours, weeks, or even years. For me, it is one time. For you the reader, it is an entirely different one. Just the thought that reading and writing could one day be outlawed just shivers my timbers. I related to Winston so much in that way. I would have found a way to read or write. The politics and psychology of this novel run deep. The society in the book has no written laws, but many acts are punishable by death.
The slogan of the Party War is Peace Individuality is frowned upon and could lead to being labeled a traitor to the Party. I also remember always wondering why the title was I was familiar with the concept of Big Brother and wondered why that wasn't the name of the book. In the story, they don't actually know what year it is because so much of the past has been erased by the Ministry of Truth.
It could very easily have been I think that makes the title more powerful. Something as simple as the year or date is unknown to these people. They have to believe it is whatever day that they are told it is. They don't have the right to keep track. Knowledge is powerful. Knowledge is necessary. But according to Big Brother. Ignorance is strength. These are usually things that distance me from a book and from the characters, but Orwell managed to keep me fully enthralled.
He frequently talks in circles and ideas are often repeated but it is still intriguing, none the less. I must admit that I zoned out a bit while Winston was reading from The Book, but I was very fascinated by the culture. Sometimes it seems as though the only way to really experience a characters emotions is through first person.
This is not the case with this book, as it is written in third person; yet, I never failed to be encompassed in Winston's feelings. George manages to ensure that the reader never feels disconnected from the events that are unfolding around them, with the exception of the beginning when Winston is just starting to become awakened. I developed a strong attachment to Winston and thrived on living inside his mind. I became a member of the Thought Police, hearing everything, feeling everything and last but not least, what the Thought Police are not allowed to do questioning everything.
I wasn't expecting a love story in this book, but the relationship between Julia and Winston was truly profound. I enjoyed it even more than I would have expected and thought the moments between them were beautiful.
I wasn't sure whether he was going to eventually betray Julia to the Party or not, but I certainly teared up often when it came to their relationship. George has an uncanny ability to get to the base of the human psyche, at times suggesting that we need to be at war for many different reasons, whether it's at war with ourselves or with others. That is one thing I have never understood: It seems that the main and recurring message in this book is about censorship and brainwashing.
One, censorship, is limited and little exposure to ideas of the world; the other, brainwashing, is forced and too much exposure to a certain ideas. Both can be extremely dangerous. Inside the ministry of Truth, he demonstrates the dangers of censorship by showing how the Party has completely rewritten the past by forging and abolishing documents and physical evidence. We also spend quite a bit of time with Winston in the Ministry of Love, where the brainwashing takes place.
Those who commit thoughtcrime are tortured until they grow to love and obey Big Brother and serve only the interests of the Party. A common theme occurred to me throughout the book, although it wasn't necessarily referenced consistently.
The good of the many is more important than the good of the one. There are so many variables when it comes to this statement and for the most part it seems natural to say, "Of course, the many is more important than the one", but when inside Winston's head, all that I began to care about was his well-being and not if he was able to help disband or conquer the Party and Big Brother. I just wanted him to be at peace.
Whether or not the good of all is more important than that of the one, I can't answer. I think most people feel their own happiness is more important than the rest of the world's, and maybe that's part of the problem but it's also human nature.
I only wish we could all accept one other regardless of belief and culture and not try to force ways of life onto other people. Maybe I'm naive for thinking that way, but so be it. I almost don't know what to think about this book. I'm not even sure my brain still works, or if it ever worked right at all. This book has a way of making you think you know exactly what you believe about everything and then turning you completely upside down and making you question whether or not you believe anything at all about anything.
It's the strangest thing. Perhaps not. Everything about this book is captivating. It's groundbreaking yet at the same time, purely classic. Ahead of its time, yet timeless. Basically, I think everyone should read at some point.
You really have to be in the mood to work at reading it, though. But it's all worth it in the end. It's absolutely incredible and I loved it. I don't re-read many books but this will definitely be one of them. It is a hard read, but more importantly, it is a MUST read. View all 34 comments.
Cynical, scathing, and not without its flaws, this is still a stark, haunting glimpse at what could be. Freedom is slavery. The closing lines still come to me sometimes and remind me of depths that I can only imagine.
Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose.
But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. The scene that I most often think is when Winston and Julia are captured. Winston Smith cautiously and surreptitiously discovers the Brotherhood led by Goldstein and then learns all too well about O'Brien's duplicitous doublethink. More than just a cautionary political tale, Orwell has described an ideological abyss into which we must not gaze; a glimpse at authoritarianism power plays to which the Nazis and Soviets never descended.
While we can appreciate the reminder to avoid authoritarianism and his prophetic vision, the idea that truth can be arranged through media is perhaps the most relevant for us today. View all 31 comments. I've put off writing a review for because it's simply too daunting to do so. I liked even better after a second reading bumping it up from a 4 star to a 5 star because I think that, given the complexity of the future created by Orwell, multiple readings may be needed to take it all in.
I thought it was genius the first time and appreciated that genius even more the second time. Orwell had a daunting task: This future had to be its own complex, independent society, but it also had to be the natural end result of the totalitarianism Orwell witnessed in the communist and socialist regimes of World War II. That's part of the horror of It's easy to see how those in control can, through manipulation and propaganda, maintain that control simply for the sake of sating their own power hunger.
It's easy to say "no one could ever tell me what to think or what to do," but the Party's use of Big Brother, the Thought Police, the Two-Minute Hate, and Doublethink make it easy to see how a person's ability to think independently and discern fiction from reality can be eroded when there is no touchstone to fact. Revising and rewriting the past to make certain that Big Brother and the Party are always correct has effectively eliminated historical accuracy.
How can one think and reason in a society where everything is a fabrication? Another facet of that I find fascinating is the relationship between Winston and Julia. Winston claims Julia is a "rebel from the waist down," engaging in promiscuity and hedonistic indulgences forbidden by the Party. She doesn't care about social injustice or defining "reality"; she only longs for what will make her feel good in the moment and only rebels far enough to get what she wants. By comparison, Winston is an intellectual rebel, constantly worrying over the issues of truth and freedom and the real, unvarnished past, but limited in how far he's willing to push the boundaries until he meets Julia.
Together, they make a complete rebellion--physical and mental, but apart they find themselves impotent to stand up to the Party. Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder View all 17 comments. The novel is set in Airstrip One, formerly Great Britain, a province of the superstate Oceania, whose residents are victims of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation.
Oceania's political ideology, euphemistically named English Socialism shortened to "Ingsoc" in Newspeak, the government's invented langua Oceania's political ideology, euphemistically named English Socialism shortened to "Ingsoc" in Newspeak, the government's invented language is enforced by the privileged, elite Inner Party.
Via the "Thought Police", the Inner Party persecutes individualism and independent thinking, which are regarded as "thoughtcrimes". View all 7 comments. Nov 09, Leo. Is Orwell turning in his grave? Does his epitaph read. Don't say I never told you so! Which pigeon hole? What label? What career? When a car driver loses control of the vehicle and strays from the path that was ahead, the car careers off the road.
One might crash. One is no longer on the journey one originally set out on. One is lost. Off the beaten track. So, when one is a child and asked what career one wants, esoterically it means how can one be swayed or crashed and stopped from what one may want to be when one grows up.
The only answer a child should give to their teacher indoctrinater is These authorities with all the powers? Deciding what we say, or do, or go, from their Ivory Towers A deviant neighbour moves in next door, behaviour abnormal, and hoarding trash Puts his waste in his shed, a festering, mouldy stash Attracting rats, mice, flies and vermin of all kinds Breaking other residents resolve, distorting their minds For when the community complain about it, every day, week in week out, all the time These authorities point the finger at us, accuse us of a Bloody Hate Crime!
Rationale has been replaced, with the word Hate As the lines blur, in this New World Order, is it too late? To change this world?
To take a stance? Maybe our last Chance! This world is going to Hell in a Shitstorm! If we don't restore the Earth's Balance. Crawling all over society Police or Po-Lice? These parasites, are only there to Scare To enforce Order, in the chaos they Create On behest of the Magicians behind the curtains, the One's that preach Hate. In this Cube, this false construct, this Square.
So look around, see the whole, and Beware! I am full aware of what is going on in this pursuit for a New World Order, an Old World Order, whereby the void between the few and the majority broadens.
I am so frustrated how the Sheeple just seem to lap it up. A cell phone. A smart cell phone that is all singing and dancing It is called a Cell phone for a reason. Like the Net and the Web. Soon all appliances and mob devices will be Smart.
If one does not own one then when 5G is rolled out and the Smart Grid comes into being, one will be left behind. Soon all money paid in wages or commerce will be digital and people will not survive in the New Virtual World unless one is chipped or connected to the 5G network.
Understand that money is phony. It is paper or a figure on a PC screen. Soon to be a digital concept, like in the film In Time. Money used to be made of copper, silver and gold. This is when coins actually held value, worth it's weight in gold actually meant something. Then the Templars invented the Banking system, now they are called Freemasons a Fiat pyramid system that is illegal yet, no person seems to care.
That is the way it is. Only because of ignorance. Acquiescence, Taxation is a fraud. It is theft. Time to wake up before it is too late.
And the female freemasonic Eastern Star. Maybe I have said too much but, I don't care anymore. That is today's Rant. Everybody should read and also watch the film. What can I possibly say about this amazing novel, by George Orwell, that hasn't been already said by many who have read the book for over half a century. When it is said that the book is 'haunting', 'nightmarish', and 'startling' any reader would have to agree!
This well known novel grips the reader from the beginning and does not even let go of the grip at the finished reading. A classic you won't want to miss if you haven't taken the time to read it yet. I actually listened to this novel What can I possibly say about this amazing novel, by George Orwell, that hasn't been already said by many who have read the book for over half a century. I actually listened to this novel on audio and Simon Prebble was the 'perfect' narrator.
View all 35 comments. This was the book that started my love affair with the dystopian genre. And maybe indirectly influenced my decision to do a politics degree.
I was only 12 years old when I first read it but I suddenly saw how politics could be taken and manipulated to tell one hell of a scary and convincing story. I'm a lot more well-read now but, back then, this was a game-changer. I started to think about things differently.
View all 22 comments. Wafa Foufa I have the book but did not read it, but your review makes me want to. Feb 26, For many of the same reasons! Although I wish I had studied it as literally as you did May 24, Social media is a cage full of starved rats and all of us have our heads stuck in there now, like it or not.
View all 9 comments. View all 26 comments. View all 15 comments. In some twisted form, everything reflects the truth of reality. Of course there are exaggerations, though nothing is far from plausibility. We are controlled by our governments, and often in ways we are not consciously aware of. Advertisements, marketing campaigns and political events are all designed for us to elicit a certain response and think in a desired way.
Cultural brainwashing becomes the chief goal. Assimilation into a passionless and completely ignorant mind-set becomes the most effective means of keeping the population down.
If you can make a man forget or deny his past then he knows of no situation better than his current state: Subjugation becomes normality. The streets are claustrophobic and the people the workers can escape nothing. Every action, every word spoken, is recorded. The police are ready to grab anyone who steps remotely out of line. If language can be broken down into the absolute basics, the simplest and ordinary units, then people can only express themselves on a very minor level.
They cannot think beyond their daily tasks because there are no words that connote dreams and fantasy. Step out of line and you are killed, though not before being dragged to room for torture and even stronger methods of thought control. As such through the plot the book depicts a stark transformation, a transformation of man who was once willing to fight and to think but falls into one of the ingenious traps big brother sets for him to expose his criminality.
He shows us that we are not so far from big brother as we may think. View all 14 comments. View all 10 comments. I reread this recently, knowing my mind from a few years ago is different from my mind now. But it was surprisingly just as scary! Maybe even more so, if that is possible!! I wonder if there is someone who has read and has not felt angry and helpless.
It is a good book. It is so good that it made my want to throw away my Kindle. Martin's series. I also wonder if this world Orwell d I reread this recently, knowing my mind from a few years ago is different from my mind now.
I also wonder if this world Orwell describes is that far from ours. Big Brother may have become a stupid internet meme and an even stupider TV show if there are fans here sorrynotsorry , but that somehow makes it even more frightening. In the oppression is very in your face, but in reality it is hidden through nice words and fancy laws.
At the end of the day, it really makes you ask yourself if safety and security are really what you want. And if they are worth the price Winston is a very complex, sane person in a world full of insanity and utter destitution. Julia is on par with Winston, but other than the charming and mysterious O'Brien, no other character is developed enough to be anything but a filler, someone to push the plot along.
In any other novel this would be a bad thing, but in this world it is perfect, and it's exactly what those people are in any case. It is so superbly written I cannot fault it at all concerning that. At the beginning I was drawn in so far that I was almost in love. It was a five-star book up until Julia turned up: The other thing that put me off was the huge info-dump.
Whilst I completely understood that this was an intentional info-drop and it really could not have been conveyed to either the reader or the character in any other way, it really made the whole thing very disjointed. Again, it felt hugely intentional but I still did not enjoy it. Overall, there's really nothing I can fault except my own opinions. Good writing is Fact: Enjoyment of writing is Opinion: This was a perfect book that I simply had a few too many low opinions of to be delighted by it completely.
View all 5 comments. Doubleplusgood Maxitruth in Oldspeak on Doublethink and Crimestop! Translation from Newspeak: Excellent, accurate analysis of oppressive, selective society in well-written Standard English reflecting on the the capacity to hold two contradictory opinions for truth at the same time and on the effectiveness of protective stupidity as a means to keep a power structure stable. There is not much left to say about this prophetic novel by Orwell which has not been said over and over again since its pu Doubleplusgood Maxitruth in Oldspeak on Doublethink and Crimestop!
There is not much left to say about this prophetic novel by Orwell which has not been said over and over again since its publication at the beginning of the Cold War in There are obviously elements which refer directly to Stalinist socialism, and the life conditions of people in the s, but what strikes as sadly true, not for Communist propaganda behind the historical Iron Curtain, but for the celebrated democracies in the Western tradition, is the idea of rewriting history and altering facts a posteriori into their opposite to suit political agendas, and the usurpation of scientific and political language to follow a path of absolute brainwashing.
Reading this novel for the third time with the speeches of the current President of the United States and his followers ringing in my ears, it is hard not to cringe at the reduction of language that Orwell predicted in "" In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Very dishonest! Total loser! You are fake news! Russia is fake news!
The failing NYTimes! The largest! The best! Running like a fine-tuned machine! The least racist! The most humble! The one with the best polls, for the negative ones are fake!
The problem with dictatorships, and dogmas of a specific faith, is that they will never shy away from usurping and then destroying the generally accepted conventions of communication if it serves their purposes.
Their aim, they claim, is to protect unborn life, which sounds honourable until you start to think about their opinions about and treatment of human beings that already dwell on earth: He is broken, not only physically, but mentally, and after torture of unimaginable dimensions, his closing lines show complete surrender, body and soul, to the evil brainwashing machinery of Big Brother: He loved Big Brother!
Do I feel it works? Absolutely, I feel it works. You can force a human being to speak against his or her will, using torture. And as long as you are not finicky regarding the accuracy of the received confession, you will be able to report results. An easy task for any doublethinker. And please do not confuse that with information!
Really bad. So unfair. So dishonest. The most dishonest information in the world. Total loser information. Education Against Crimestop Now! View all 51 comments. This book! This was a reread - the last time I read this was over 20 years ago and I wanted to see if the 5 star rating and its standing in one of my top 3 favorite books held up - and it most certainly does.
If this book was written today in the midst of the slew of dystopian novels that come out, it may not have stood out. But, this book was way ahead of its time. Written in a post WWII era where the fears of dictatorships and brutal tyranny were fresh in the minds of the people, this book plays off that fear and adds a dark vision of a potential future.
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