Tuesday, June 3, 2008

1984 by George Orwell

My classic novel for May.
It’s a deceptively short novel, at less than 250 pages and it took me a lot longer to read than I would have expected. And it’s so bleak! I know that it’s not a particularly optimistic view of the future as Orwell envisioned it, but it’s much bleaker than I thought it was.

Not to say it was bad, in fact I enjoyed reading it very much. The subject matter was depressing, but the writing is so assured and the story so well-constructed that I didn’t mind the bleakness very much.

Winston Smith is one of thousands of Party workers, toiling away for the good of Big Brother. He works for the Ministry of Truth _ which means he doctors books and newspapers _ and he toils away, like everyone else. However, when he starts to question the Party and Big Brother, things start to happen. First good things, as he meets a girl and finds what he thinks is a safe house. Then very bad things, as they are both arrested by the Ministry of Love.

Orwell has packed so many ideas into 1984 about freedom, and politics and life that it’s impossible to detail them all. What impresses me so much, is that he’s done it in such a short book!
1984 will be on my re-read list for sure.


Chrisbookarama said...

This book really packs a whallop!

Here's my review:

Melanie said...

I just reread this one myself. I first read it in school and didn't get much out of it. Now i want to wait a couple months and reread again just to try to absorb all the philosophy