War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
These are the watchwords for The Party, which governs Oceania with absolute authority. In Airstrip One (formerly known as England), the omnipresent viewscreens, which the people watch and by which in turn are watched, remind everyone that "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU."
Winston Smith, member of the Outer Party and diligent worker in the Ministry of Truth, where he rewrites history, is dead. He already knows it, for he has committed thoughtcrime. "Thoughtcrime doesn't entail death," he notes in his forbidden journal, "thoughtcrime IS death." As he starts his journey as a thought criminal seeking actual truth, he encounters Julia, beautiful and tempting; O'Brien, member of the Inner Party and potential ally against tyranny; and the truth about a party seeking power for power's sake. And this truth, it will not set him free.
1984: New Classic Edition, written in 1948, is a cautionary tale. Orwell saw, in the burgeoning Cold War, a terrible future, and detailed it in this lasting novel which has been translated into 65 different languages; the dystopic future of 1984 remains as poignant and timely in any year and in any era.
George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Blair, an English novelist who used his works to comment on the perils of social injustice and totalitarianism. A journalist by trade, he was best known during his life for his essays and columns in newspapers and magazines, famously describing the effects of poverty in Paris and northern England as well as covering the Spanish Civil War. He wrote most of 1984 while ill, being diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1947. Still, he persisted, writing one of the most important works in the English language, responsible for such neologisms as "doublethink," "Big Brother" and "memory hole" and immortalized in the term "Orwellian." He died at the age of 46 on January 21, 1950.
"It was never meant to be an instruction manual, but listening to this book again after 10 years shows us just how far down the rabbit hole we have gone. When I read this in high school, it was just another piece of fantasy, something that we could not actually imagine as reality. I read the books again with my kids a number of years later and it was shocking how far we progressed towards that reality. Now, all I can say is this is scary. It is well worth a read. It will make you think. It will make you contemplate and ask questions. "
Selina (5 out of 5 stars)