Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power 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.
Though I can’t deny that this is a true literary classic, I can say that this story wasn’t always my cup of tea. At times I was downright bored to tears while reading this book, I couldn’t understand why I’ve seen so many rave reviews about it! There I was thinking I’d be taken on some fantastically dystopian journey, hoping I’d be utterly sucked in, and instead I was feeling as though to keep reading was a punishment. Obviously for a book of it’s time it was quite creative, but I don’t think it translates the same way in the modern world of today. It wasn’t particularly unique by today’s standards, but I did appreciate it from where and when it was written.
Winston isn’t a character one sympathizes with easily. There’s something about his demeanor that I didn’t find appealing, but once the book continued I came to learn of his ways and understood him a bit better. Certain points of the story I utterly hated reading, other parts I thoroughly enjoyed. I found myself in a fifty-fifty situation while reading, and I knew I’d either love the next part or I’d hate it. Unfortunately the love/hate relationship went back and forth quite a bit.
There was a particularly dreadful section when Winston was reading a book that dragged on forever. I literally had to start reading other less tedious books just so I could make it to the end of this one.
While this most certainly isn’t a rave review, I must admit that by the end I was captivated. I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who haven’t read this book yet, but by the end we as the readers are able to see why the society Winston lives in is able to thrive as it is. All throughout you hope it’s something that can be defeated, or that maybe this is some sick little game, but I think the ending is quite conclusive in it’s meaning. It’s definitely a cautionary tale of sorts, and I liked that Orwell wasn’t afraid of getting to the nitty-gritty parts of human nature.
Reviews to come: