|1984 Nineteen eighty four
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This novel coined new and potent words of warning for us all. Alive with Swiftain wit and passion, it is one of the most brilliant satires on totalitarianism and the power-hungry ever written. It has been acclaimed as the master piece of the author.
"Outside, even through the shut window pane, the world looked cold. Down in the street little eddies of wind were whirling dust and torn paper into spirals, and though the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no color in anything except the posters that were plastered everywhere."
The year is 1984; the scene is London, largest population center of Airstrip One.
Airstrip One is part of the vast political entity Oceania, which is eternally at war with one of two other vast entities, Eurasia and Eastasia. At any moment, depending upon current alignments, all existing records show either that Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia and allied with Eastasia, or that it has always been at war with Eastasia and allied with Eurasia. Winston Smith knows this, because his work at the Ministry of Truth involves the constant "correction" of such records. "'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"
In a grim city and a terrifying country, where Big Brother is always Watching You and the Thought Police can practically read your mind, Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. He knows the Party's official image of the world is a fluid fiction. He knows the Party controls the people by feeding them lies and narrowing their imaginations through a process of bewilderment and brutalization that alienates each individual from his fellows and deprives him of every liberating human pursuit from reasoned inquiry to sexual passion. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.
Newspeak, doublethink, thoughtcrime--in 1984, George Orwell created a whole vocabulary of words concerning totalitarian control that have since passed into our common vocabulary. More importantly, he has portrayed a chillingly credible dystopia. In our deeply anxious world, the seeds of unthinking conformity are everywhere in evidence; and Big Brother is always looking for his chance. --Daniel Hintzsche
I don't know how many people read this for enjoyment, but this is pretty much an amazing novel that manages to capture so many intriguing and frightening ideas. And yet at the same time it is remarkably entertaining--it's a great story of romance, intrigue, and betrayal....more info
- I love this book!
Twisted view of a future world, even more creepy looking at it from a time 20 years after this imaginary future... it is interesting to compare and contrast this book with reality......more info
- One of the best
This book should be manditory reading in grade school. As a whole, 1984 depicts the world as many in todays world want it to be,but won't admit it of course, a world with out free speech, with out free thought, without the ability to critique and question; yet Orwell created the book prior to the calamities we see around us. Prophetic in a fashion, buit also written in a time when PC sugar coating wasnt the norm and you could see and even say what needed to be said. Big brother is watching us, whether it be the ACLU, some church, some group of fanatics who want to take away freedom, the GOV't, whoever. This book shows the desolate result when human curiosity is censored and oppressed, and the will is stamped out. Dystopian literature is a good thing, it isnt all bells and happy ssmiles, but that is life, and in order to fight against terrible things you need to know why they are evil. This book shows why and how many things become evil even without the need for a diety. Collectively our "Room 101" is not far off if we dont wake up and stop the idiocy of placating becasue we dont want to offend. Part of being human is being offended, part of humanity is the capacity to be unhappy; some say being sad all the time is a sickness, but the person who thinks things are fine all the time I believe is far more ill because if you look around the world, things are not OK; they are turning out alot like 1984. ...more info
- Great Purchase.
I couldn't believe myself when I saw this book. Top quality, for such a nominal price. I prefer hardbounds to paperback, and this book for sure is an exception to the fact that hardbound books are grossly costly.
I definitely recommend this product! ...more info
- Incredible best book I ever read
This has to be one of the most important books in the modern era, never has a book changed the way I viewed government, and society as this book has. You'll be reflecting upon this book for days and even well after. ...more info
- Great Book
I haven't read it all the way through yet, but I would reccomend it to anybody....more info
- This is a timeless classic
George Orwell was way ahead of his time with this book. It's amazing that in the late 1940's when in the West relatively little was known about the life under communism and it's impact on everyday life, Orwell was able to capture this so brilliantly! However, this book isn't just about communism, but about any social, religious or other structure that is trying to suppress freedom and exert control over human mind. Still relevant today.
Probably the only thing that he did not get right is that he associated communism too closely with the ability to innovate. When there are no personal rewards and people live in fear, there isn't innovation. But that's just a side note and it does not take anything away from this brilliant book.
It's a timeless classic that has something to say to every generation and should be a required reading. I highly recommend it....more info
- a classic, but too full of torture and gore! I hated it!!!!
This book was very difficult to read. I know it's a classic sci-fi and dystopia read, but I truly hated this book, especially at the end! I also think it's horrible that this book is taught in high-school... It should be for 18 and over only! The original "Big Brother", and a frightening look at what society could become if we let it. Probably so frightening because it is so possible.
- One of the best
As hard as it is to say what the single best of most anything is, George Orwell's 1984 comes as close to that title as any I can think of. The vision he presents is so engrossing that one is left haunted. He gives the world he envisions such texture and reality that it almost becomes real. There is a reason this book is referred to so often: it represents many of our worst possible fears. The complete control over every facet of existence wielded by Big Brother over Winston and the rest of the polity is so frightening that the images conjured by this book are used even in contemporary politics. ...more info
- Great Read
This is an inexpensive classic and a great read. I recommend this book for anyone interested in a great book....more info
- Big Brother is watching you!
"1984" is George Orwell's warning of the dangers of a totalitarian society. The main character in the novel, Winston Smith, is a low-ranking member of the ruling Party in the country of Oceania. Winston and his fellow citizens are monitored everywhere they go, even in their own homes. Party members spy on everyone using ever-present telescreens, and pictures of "Big Brother," the Party's leader, are on display everywhere. The Party's main goal is to eliminate all forms of individual thought, which can lead to rebellion. In order to do that, the language of Newspeak is being integrated into society in hopes of eliminating 80% of all words and thus reducing the chances of a revolt. Sex is also another aspect of life considered taboo by the Party, and Winston eventually begins an affair with a woman named Julia with full knowledge of the fact that if they get caught, they could both be killed by the government. Winston ultimately finds himself fighting a dangerous battle with the Party, and it's a fight he cannot possibly hope to win.
This novel is as powerful now as it was when it was written in the late 1940s. Orwell's commentary about the dangers of totalitarianism coupled with an analysis of the powers of psychological manipulation are truly frightening. I can't say that this book is enjoyable to read because the subject matter is very disturbing, but "1984" is a well-crafted and thought-provoking book that should be ready by everyone....more info
- 1984: Privacy is a thing of the past.
George Orwell's depressing look into the future is more possible today than it has ever been. Winston Smith, the book's main character, is continually watched by Big Brother, the face of the government he despises. War is continuous, love is outlawed, and Big Brother is religion.
Winston Smith, a worker for the Ministry of Truth (or Minitruth in newspeak), goes to work everyday and falsifies records to make it look like Big Brother is always right. There are other ministries with names that contradict what they do. The Ministry of Peace (Minipax) deals with war. The Ministry of Love (Miniluv) deals with hate. Citizens are brainwashed not to notice what is going on. If they do, the government of Oceania wipes them out. Cameras are everywhere, microphones are everywhere, and spies are everywhere. George Orwell tells his tale in a way that makes it seem real, and in a while it very well may be.
1984 not only gives an insight on what the government could be like, but the book is full of deceptive and interesting characters. Winston acts like Big Brother is god, but he really loathes him. Julia wears a belt that symbolizes chastity, but she sleeps with members of the Party. O'Brien is a member of the elite Inner Party, the group that controls Oceania, but he acts as though he is in cahoots with Goldstein, the enemy of Oceania. There are also plot twists and symbols in this book that make it even more interesting. This book is a must-read for anyone that cares about the future....more info
- Great Book, Inumerable Glaring Errors
I love this book, it was a great read.
However, there are simply too many mistakes, misspellings, etc in this version. This is the very worst edition of any book I have ever read. I started highlighting the mistakes on my kindle, but there were just too many and I gave up.
Add to that that the chapters are not marked, and there is no proper index.
If you do buy this horrible edition, be prepared to read around an obvious error every other page or so.
Some examples include:
"There were four others oil the committee"
"And they would sit round die table"
Bottom Line: I want my money back.
- Past or Future?
"In the old days, he thought, a man looked at a girl's body and found it desirable, and that was the end of the story. But you could not have pure love or pure lust nowadays. No emotion was pure because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred. Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act." The year is 1984, or so Winston Smith thinks. Nothing is ever certain anymore except he lives in Oceania and they are constantly at war with either Eurasia or Eastasia. They had always been at war with Eurasia, until a quick announcement and falsification of thousands of records made them always at war with Eastasia. The Party is always right, or so it would seem. By looking at records you know existed, you would find only lies. Winston Smith knows this because he works for the Ministry of Truth, which deals with the falsification of records. The Party is the single reigning body of totalitarianisim for 1/3 of the world. But, is this simply a mere story, or something more? Was George Orwell trying to warn us of the direction our own government is heading? This version is a little extreme, but it proves its point. Winston Smith is an average man working for the Party. Scared of it, but also hating it, Winston believes that he is good as dead. He does not believe in the Party or its values, and in this world, that will earn you an arrest from the thought police for thoughtcrime. The Party can virtually read your mind through the telescreen; a two- way video broadcast system. You can never be alone with your thoughts. ...more info
- War is Peace?
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
And Big Brother is watching
These are the slogans that the people in George Orwell's book, 1984. George Orwell does a great job of telling the story of Winston Smith's life and how he goes through life rebelling against the government. He describes every setting with emence detail and it felt like I was right there with Winston going through his every day struggles to survive and remain in his eyes sane. The way Orwell conveyed the story through the diary as well as just writing it really worked well. The diary tells about Winston`s character and how he reacts to life around him. I believe that when writing this story George Orwell wrote a book that is a great success.
As a high school student I enjoyed 1984. It challenged me to think outside of the box and more critically. To say that War is Peace and Freedom is Slavery and actually believe it causes one to question the meaning of certain things. In our world war is not peace and slavery is the opposite of freedom, so what could have led people to believe and just accept that these things are true. That is what 1984 truly explains, that humans can become brain washed into believing almost anything. The scary part about this is that it actually can happen as shown in the book through a series of torture and reeducating Winston was reformed into one who believed in what the Republic of Oceania believed. With propaganda, the party ruling over the people in 1984 can shape the minds of jst about anyone.
In conclusion, 1984 is a well written, suspenseful story of a man who becomes the same as everone else. There is no room for individuality in the setting created by George Orwell. Everyone believes the same or are arrested a reformed!
- Big Brother is Watching!
George Orwell's book 1984 is a wonderful book set in England's future if WW II never stopped. The main character in the book, Winston, is an ordinary worker at a regular office in England. The catch is he can remember the past some what. In England's future it is ruled by an all knowing man named Big Brother of BB in new speak (the language of oceania earlier called England).
Once Winston realizes this chick named Julia likes him he and she start secretively dating which is against the rules of the party. Winston finally realizes what is going on with society and BB. Winston and his girlfriend finally get the nerve and take a chance and join the resistance against the party. In the end it doesn't turn out how he expects it to be but was inevitable.
The book was a great read and a good use of time. I personally think big brother is the man. Even though it was a school assignment to read it was great.
- the hobo philosopher
When I was young and read this book for the first time strangely enough I never thought of it as a warning about some other country's type of government. I thought of it as a description of what could happen in my own country if the wrong type of thinking was supported by a majority of the people of my country. I don't know what Mr. Orwell intended it to be but looking at my own country today I still think that my original interpretation was accurate.
I felt the same way about Animal Farm.
Books written by Richard Noble - The Hobo Philosopher:
"Hobo-ing America: A Workingman's Tour of the U.S.A.."
"A Summer with Charlie"
"A Little Something: Poetry and Prose"
"Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother" ...more info
- The Greatest Love Story of Our Time.
1984 is a social commentary on history and the appalling state of public policy and society generally told through a love story that resonates with a deep familiarity for all modern readers....more info
- 1984 review
I highly recomend this book because its interesting and it relates to real life. I find that interesting that the government is always watching, I always felt like someone somewhere always knows what you are up to 24 hours a day. Hopefully the terminator doesn't see everything like when we go to the bathroom or that would just be mest up.
This book changed me a little bit, now i think twice before doing stupid stuff because I know someone out there might be watching and I might get in trouble. It doesn't have to be the government, the popo can be watching you from far away and you think he is probably not watching and 5 minutes later after you did the dumb thing, your screwed and you will get in trouble with the law.
I highly recommend this book because it will change your view on the goverment, and on the world we live in now. ...more info
- Chillingly Pertinent
The power of 1984 lies in its author's uncanny prescience. The ordeal of protagonist Winston Smith is similar to that which many Americans are experiencing today, through the gradual erosion of personal liberties and the creeping intrusiveness of government. The most chilling aspects of the novel concern not its depiction of graphic torture, but rather its treatment of its fictional media, which distorts reality at whim to suit the aims of Big Brother. The extent to which betrayal by government plays a part in the story should also be haunting for today's citizens. These maladies are too eerily close to what is happening today in America, as media spin distorts every story out of control and politicians are making themselves more impossible to trust every day. That George Orwell foresaw so many decades ago the rise of leaders like George Bush and Dick Cheney truly testifies to his sagacity, just as the story's power to transfix and haunt modern readers testifies to his brilliance as a storyteller. ...more info
- 1984-Classic Much?
A communistic dictatorship rules over the people living in the country of Oceania. Newspeak is the official language of Oceania, people love Big Brother, the head of Oceania. What I have just described to you is what 1984's world looks like. 1984, is the book that explains what would happen to the world if democracy fell and communistic-dictatorship took over. This book was written by a man by the name of George Orwell, who was born in 1903. Soon after writing this book he succumbed to tuberculosis. Once finishing the typescript he sent it to his two friends, Secker and Warburg, who officially published it on the date of June 8th 1949. George Orwell sadly died only a few months after his book hit the shelves in January 1949.
Within the pages of 1984 there is the `Party' which mysteriously and ruthlessly rules over the people who live in the country of Oceania. The peasants are called the `Proles'. The `Proles' are essentially everyone who is not in the party, these are the common man and the people who live in much poverty while the Party is able to live with considerable of luxuries. This book gives the reader a feeling of desolation, sometimes while reading it I thought I was Winston the main character who was trying to take down the party, and who was sick of being told what to and what not to do. That is one of the books major strengths because the reader will feel as if it is him being prosecuted. Also the book makes you hate the party. This feeling makes the reader become even more sucked into the book, making him feel like the party is the worst thing possible. The only real weakness I could find with this book was that, sometimes, the book has a tendency to give a little excess information to the reader. These are often unnecessary facts that have no place in the book such as when it describes in a lot of detail how the tree is where Winston and his friend Julia meet; however this does not happen very often.
The main goal of this book is to give the reader an idea of what life would be like if democracy ever fell in the modern world. This book accomplishes this goal with an amazing job. Everything is how the reader would think it would be, the citizens are being watched at every moment, there are `thought-police', the majority of people are poor, is a are the minority of rich people. Also this book goes into so much detail, it makes me feel as if I were there...in 1984. The detail helps the reader become even more captivated in the dark secrets unlocked within the party and the severity of the crimes Winston commits against the party.
When reading this book the reader will experience a connection with the book and its characters, the reader will become Winston. The reader will become a Prole. The reader will become Big Brother, the reader will love big brother. The reader will go through many changes while reading this book, and may experience many hardships. Which path they choose is up to them, whether to love big brother, or hate him. That decision is up to the reader, good luck. I would highly sugges this for any high school teaher.
P.S.-Using a Family Acount.
- Maybe Big Brother will hate me, but...
I think this is one of the most overrated books I've ever read.
The idea of it and the detail put into it is admirable, but it lacks that special 'something' that can make such serious/scary subject-matter hold my attention.
I can understand the importance of the story, but Winston Smith wasn't a character I cared for or found any interest in whatsoever. And although the boook made me dislike Big Brother and The Party--the fact that the proles and even the disagreeing members of the Party didn't care enough to attempt an uprising meant that I really didn't care about any of them....more info
- The classic dystopia novel
Orwell displays brilliance at every turn in this acclaimed work. The depth of social commentary, non-stop plot, rich characters and fluid sytle make this a classic in every sense. The aventures of Winston Smith, the main character, provide incisive, memorable insights into the nautre of human affairs. This book deserves all the praise it has received over the years. Highly recommended....more info
- Be cautious, Kindle owners
Obviously a great book, but the Kindle edition (at least) omits the Appendix "The Principles of Newspeak" which any reader should want to have! ...more info
- Science fiction?
To call 1984 a work of science fiction is, while technically accurate, somewhat a disservice to the book. 1984 is a chillingly accurate glimpse into a future of hellish totalitarianism, and quite amazingly, with each passing generation it actually seems to become more and more relevant. It should be regarded not only as great literature, but also as an oracle of the very real storm clouds that are consistently looming just overhead. But perhaps most importantly, it should also serve as a much needed kick in the groin to anyone who is constantly blinded by the bright lights of patriotism, war, greed, fear, and all forms of propaganda.
1984 is not science fiction. 1984 isn't fiction at all....more info
- A very short review
Reading this book is like having your skin scraped off with a cheese grater...and it is pure brilliance. Every page is agony and I love it....more info
- Just as great the second time around
I enjoyed this book back in 1984 when I 'HAD' to read it for a class project. I enjoyed the book then more as a work of science fiction. I just got a kindle and decided to re-read some older books that I had not purchased due to limited shelf space.
Now that I read this book, I am struck by the warnings of what can come out of too much control in the hands of the few. One passage that really had me floored was...
"...in the general hardening of outlook that set in about ...practices that had been long abandoned... imprisonment without trial...the use of torture to extract confessions... not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlighted and progressive."
This written almost 60 years ago! This book is a must read as the messages are just as relevent today.
- my fellow high schoolers- "classic" is not a synonym for "boring"
When I began to read 1984, I had my hesitations. In the past I have found that books like this were never really my "thing". Animal Farm, Slaughter House Five, Fahrenheit 451, and other books of that sort I always found a bit too slow moving for the taste of the average high schooler.
Opening up 1984 was a risk for me, if I don't like a book the first time around, I probably never will, but I was pleasantly surprised to find myself sucked into George Orwell's cleverly crafted world of Winston Smith, Big Brother, the Party, and rebellion.
Like every great science fiction novel, 1984 takes place in a world where everything is controlled by the government, in this case Big Brother and the party, and free thinking is the worst crime one could commit. We've all read a book or seen a movie about conspiracies with the government controlling every aspect of our lives, and this is definitely the most well done. Everything from the telescreens to the thought police was so believable it almost made me suspicious I was being watched!
Not only did the writing make it seem realistic, but the writing was a bit more fast paced than some other "classics" and it kept me turning the pages. I understand that many classics seem so dull to us high schoolers merely because we don't have the patience for anything we have to think about. I think that 1984 is definitely a better read for high schoolers because it keeps moving and stays interesting but still manages to make you think a bit about the world we live in and it's future.
I definitely recommend this book for anyone, even those reluctant teens that don't usually favor books that are published before they were born.
- A book I admire, but don't particularly like
1984 is the kind of book that I admire more than like. I admire Orwell for how detailed and believable the world he builds is. For his efforts to set a dark and unsettling mood and for his detailed analysis of its politics.
The reasons I don't like it as much as so many other people? Well, it didn't do anything for me. I couldn't relate or feel anything for the characters. I didn't find the story haunting or particularly appealing. It didn't even make me think, when I was reading books like Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 or Camus' The Fall I had to close every few pages to think about it, because I couldn't hold my thoughts back, with 1984 this didn't happen at all.
Reading it's a subjective experience, no matter how good a book is, if you don't feel anything as a result of reading it, why then give it a high rating?
I wish I'd liked it better, or at least spotted any major reason for my dislike, but I didn't....more info
- Orwells dark but good book
George Orwell's, "1984", is a classic and detailed adventure that will leave you asking for more. The story is set in London where Winston, the main character, works for big brother. But he soon finds himself questioning Big Brother and how he works.
For a while Winston tried to blend in with the crowd and not really stand out. But when Winston starts to remember his childhood, he begins to question Big Brother. Winston soon finds himself wondering what life was like before big brother. But unless he takes a real chance, he has no way of changing anything.
One flaw I found with the book was its detail. I like a lot of detail, but this book overdid it. I would soon found myself thinking about other things and not the book.