Tuesday, July 15, 2008

1984 by George Orwell

Orwell paints a disturbing picture in his novel 1984. One in which the government controls everything, including your thoughts. Winston Smith is on ordinary man who does what he can to survive. However, he can not help but remember bits and pieces of his old life, before Big Brother came into play. When we meet Smith, he is just beginning a journey to patch these pieces together in attempt to remember how life was before the party came into power. It seems the more he recollects, the more he realizes how manipulative and morally wrong the party is. He grows to hate the party in every way and craves to revolt. Along the way, Smith commits one crime after another...a love affair with another party member, thought crime, joining a anti-party movement known only as the brotherhood...As his crimes accumulate, the party begins to notice an otherwise ordinary man. The question is...is it enough to make a difference? Is it enough to bring the party, which seems to revel in the misery of mankind, down?

My head still spins from reading this book, and I am left with several questions unanswered. Is O'Brien a good guy or a bad guy? Did he set Winston up? Or was the party bound to notice Winston, and O'Brien was just doing his job? As O'Brien mentioned before, should anyone from the brotherhood get caught, there would be no effort to rescue them. Is the brotherhood completely fictional? Is it just the party's way of detecting people who wish to revolt?! Any theories on this is greatly appreciated!!!

Otherwise, I really enjoyed reading this book. It definitely makes you think, which I believe was Orwell's entire goal in writing it. I highly recommend it if you liked other books such as Oryx and Crake by Atwood, A Clockwork Orange by Burgess, Lord of the Flies by Golding, or Brave New World by Huxley.