Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Book Review: 1984 by Geogre Orwell

The novel 1984 was written by George Orwell in 1949. During his life the author has witnessed the disastrous effect of the totalitarian regimes reigning with unlimited power. The novel represents a society in the near future that is controlled by a totalitarian government. The story takes place in London, but the country’s name is changed to Oceania. Orwell represents his biggest fear- people that are manipulated and brainwashed in every possible way: by being observed, listened on tap, limited in speech, and even in thought.

The life of the protagonist in the story Winston Smith represents the evolution of

a latitudinarian person to a brainwashed supporter of the regime. In the beginning of the plot Mr. Smith is portrayed as a rebellious and thoughtful person, who successfully resists the influence of the party. Even though he is a rebellious nature, Winston is afraid of being punished and that is why he tries to conceal his thoughts and actions in one diary, which he accurately hides from the regime. Since his first writing in this booklet, Mr. Smith is chased by the paranoia that his deeds will soon be revealed. Instead of becoming more introvert and mysterious he turns to be more brave and careless. Since this moment a party official named O’Brien appears to be more and more important, and influential for Winston. O’Brien successfully deceives him that he is working for the rebellious organization that plans a take-over. Winston is attracted by such an idea and is easily convinced to become a member of this fake organization.

However, he is captured for his illegal actions and while he is in prison the party officials attempt to brainwash him using different psychological and physical tortures. His destiny is in unison with the one of all the people who stood against the regime and got caught. Finally, the transformation is complete and irreversible. Winston Smith is even unable to feel any temptations about his ex-love Julia.

The message of the novel is that once a party gains a full control in its country and rules in a totalitarian way it can not be stopped in any way. The book’s contemporaries could easily make the connection between it and the communistic regime in USSR and the fascistic in Spain. The outcome is that people were convinced that a dictatorship in not the right way to rule a country.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked your review of Orwell’s 1984 – it is thoughtful and, in my opinion, absolutely correct. Orwell indeed presents a dystopian society, which could be related directly to the communist regime, which used to reign throughout the USSR. I have also read the book and saw exactly what you saw – the inevitable degradation of a person, trying to escape from the chains of totalitarianism. 1984 is a concealed criticism, a warning message towards societies. Winston Smith is actually the collective image of all repressed by the regime people. If you are really interested in this topic, I recommend to you another Orwell’s book – Animal Farm, which is an altogether humoristic and metaphorical novel, once again satirizing the distorted “utopian” ideas of communism.