Saturday, October 11, 2008

1984 by George Orwell (spoilers)

I thought this book would be required reading for this year's AP English class, but it's not. So, I decided to read it on my own. I've heard that it is not the BEST book ever, but is one everyone should try to read once.

I'm glad I did. The first half of the book was really slow and discouraged me, but I finished! I agree with the people that have said that it is not the best book ever but everyone should read it. It was kind of confusing for me, but made me think. I am putting this book on my Christmas list so I can pick it up to reread some other time. I feel that even though I got a lot out of 1984, I could still pick it apart a little more.

The slogan for The Party in 1984 really caught me off guard. I'm not one of those crazy politically paranoid people, but I wondered if, at certain points, if America believed or believes one of the three phrases, "War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength." I have very strong political beliefs, but this is a book blog, so I won't bore you with them.

This book made me feel extremely lucky. I never think any country will become like Oceania in 1984, but parts of it exist or have existed already, such as censorship of books, lack of religious freedom, etc..

I didn't realy expect happy ending. This is not a happy book. It ends with Winston saying he loves Big Brother, the thing he was fighting to hate throughout the whole book. Winston was brainwashed to love The Party. The ending wasn't disappointing to me, though. Throughout the book, Orwell makes the reader agree with The Party without the reader even noticing. Big Brother brainwashes the reader too in a way. The Party isn't the antagonist any more, Winston is. Instead of rooting for Winston, we see that the happy ending was for The Party.

Winston hated Julia at first. Then, he loved her.

Winston hated Big Brother. Then, he loved him.

This book really freaked me out. It bored me at some points, but in others I couldn't put it down. 1984 has a little bit of everything.

For that, I give it a B.


Dewey said...

I recently reread this one. It freaked me out, too. I think it's supposed to freak us out!

I like your insight that some of those slogans sound like things that some Americans seem to believe. Sad.

Literature Crazy said...

This book (and everything by this guy) kind of rock my world. I find re-reading them years later gives a totally different spin to them. It's kind of interesting to re-read after the end of every president's term... soon it'll be time to pick it up again.