Barnes & Noble Blurb
.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.
It’s taken me awhile to get this review up. I felt like I needed to sleep on it a few nights and chew it over. Even at this point, (a week later), I’m still not sure how I feel about this book. I loved it and didn’t like it so much.
I’ll start with the aspects I didn’t like.
- The main character, Winston, or maybe even Orwell himself really hated women. In the book every a woman is referred to he talks about how much he hates them or how weak they are. At one point he calls his neighbor ugly, and talks about the fact that she has kids probably made her ugly. And then he talks about his love interest in the same way. He talks about how he just wants her because all of their feelings are so pent up, but that her mouth is too small and her face isn’t cute but he likes her bosom. He’s more attracted to her youthfulness than her as a person.
- I also just couldn’t tell if there was anything redeeming about Winston. Sometimes he seemed strong willed and sometimes he just seemed selfish and cruel. Did he actually ever care about his family? What really happened with his mom and his baby sister? Did he ever love Julia? Or was he just infatuated with her sexuality and youthfulness? Winston just left a bad taste in my mouth.
- The ending. The ending really confused me. And maybe it was meant to! I don’t know. Did O’Brien actually kill Winston at the Ministry of Love? Or was that just Winston succumbing to the ideals of Big Brother and losing his will-power?
Things I did enjoy about the book:
- I loved, loved , loved comparing all of the Dystopian aspects of this novel to all the popular Dystopians that are out today. For example, there are factions in the book (or Parties) like in Hunger Games and Divergent. There’s the presence of the telescreens every like in Hunger Games. And of course the fact that it’s basically a Communistic government where the people fear the government and they fear their neighbors. There are no close relationships in this type of world. Fear is the driving factor.
- I started to like Winston a little more in the end. But then he fell apart and it turned out he was just as weak willed as everyone else. I thought he would have defended Julia to the end but O’Brien broke him in the very end. I didn’t understand their relationship at all. Even when he was torturing Winston, Winston still looked up to him. Maybe because he was a Party member? Jealous of status maybe? I’m not sure. I didn’t understand it.
I wouldn’t call this a favorite book but I’m glad I read it. I’ve been trying to read more classics since last year. I’m still working on Pride & Prejudice.