- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics (26 November 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141194146
- ISBN-13: 978-0141194141
- Customer Reviews: 11,333 customer ratings
Nineteen Eighty-Four Paperback – 26 November 2009
|Paperback, 26 November 2009||
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But I'll be rating specifically with regard to the Rupa Classics edition of this book which i bought.
On many pages, text printed on the other side is visible. The initial pages seems to come out of the binding. The dimensions of the book are quite small. Its quality is not impressive.
I really wish if I would have bought from some other publisher of this book.
The protagonist Winston is outer party member who edits and writes articles and also forges the data of past. He doesn't like the party much and rebbellion against them. Also he falls in love with another party member Julia. This would get both in trouble with the party. The main principle of the party is totalitarian where it has complete control over their personal and professional lives. And there no party or rebbellion against the party.Their thought process and day to day movement are kept track of even at their homes. Anyone going against the party ideals are arrested in by thought police and taken off all the government records. Winston is been tracked down for seven long years and has been arrested.What happens to him and Julia makes the rest of the story
When I started reading , the initial few pages were boring ,but towards the second half of the story I was totally moved and taken away. What is point of life where there is no individuality in a person and are treated like machines. For the sake of power and they made people never understood the reality by making the people live in an illusion.
A life with emotions towards other people, freedom and your own uniqueness make it more worthwhile and enjoyable. Just to have hold of power of ruling the country by changing the ideals of people in line makes me sad
Big Brother is watching; we live in fear
Shut thy mouth, close thy eyes and listen
To Big Brother’s nasty fascist canon
That’s what the classic ‘1984’ did tell,
Penned in 1949 by the George Orwell
His ominous prophecy has come true
Today, tyranny is watching me and you.'
Well, this one is timeless classic and one of the best books under the sun sans an iota of doubt!
1984 is a dystopian novel set in a totalitarian nation of Oceania, post the atomic war.
Btw, George Orwell, was born in India (Motihari, Bihar)
Those are the three tenets of George Orwell’s uber-dystopian world of Oceania, one of three super-states in the future where there is perpetual war, which is a mash-up of the UK, the Americas and Australia. 1984 is Orwell’s disturbing image of a post-World War II scenario where he thought democratic values wouldn’t survive. Instead, we have the Party led by this man called Big Brother (if you thought the show was annoying, wait till you get a load of this) and there are “telescreens”, which are just TVs spouting government propaganda and spying on your actions 24/7. The world is divided into Party members (Inner and Outer) and the “proles”, which, if any of you have ever heard of Marx, is pretty self-explanatory [Harry Potter fans, think Deathly Hallows and Magic is Might]. Except for the fact that these uneducated proles are 85% of the population and they are effectively controlled by the Party by no concrete regulations since there are no laws in this world. The only wrong you can do is “Thoughtcrime” (holding unspoken beliefs or doubts that oppose or question the Party), which can only be committed by Party members. If caught, all traces of you ever having existed will be destroyed and you will be vaporized or turned into an “unperson”. Frightening yet cool.
Our hero, for lack of a better word, is Winston Smith, a morose, paranoid, frail 39-year old who is an editor in the Minitrue (Ministry of Truth), where he falsifies historical records to keep up with the ever-changing party line and deleting the existence of people who have been vaporized, secretly hoping for an invitation to the Brotherhood, the hush-hush anti-government organisation led by Emmanuel Goldstein. Just like Joseph Stalin used to airbrush his “fallen comrades” from photographs and remove their names from books and newspapers. Constantly being forced to rewrite it, Winston is fascinated by the past and makes clumsy attempts to know what truly happened, either by talking to really old drunks in prole bars or going to antique shops and buying journals and coral paperweights. Total badass.
He falls in love with Julia, a young, hot member of the Junior Anti-Sex League. Yes, these existed, because in this world one of the Party’s aims is to take the joy out of sex. Children are born through “artsem” and as soon as they grow up they join this terrible organisation called the Spies where they get to listen in on doors and report suspicious activities of adults they don’t like. Try making your kid eat veggies now, Mom. Anyway, Winston and Julia have the oddest flirtation ever. He dreams of raping and killing her and she falls passionately in love with him by stalking him. Total fairy tale romance. They have sex in hidden meadows and bombed churches before, finally, getting a room. And real bread and jam. And coffee with real sugar. And Winston gets invited to join the Brotherhood with his own copy of the manifesto and all.
Wait a minute. I thought they were living in a super-surveillance state which is perpetually at war. Yes, they still are. Except Winston’s apparently been having the biggest lucky streak of his life and never thinks to question it. Then he gets caught. Shocker. Which is when the real fun begins in the Ministry of Love (aka Miniluv, LOL). Starvation. Beatings. Torture. Betrayal. And, RATS.
The book is rife with symbolism from wartime Britain and Russia-bashing. For instance, Oceania changing allies when it suited them (Russia and Nazi Germany); Goldstein being a facsimile of Leon Trotsky, animal transformations and all and Big Brother as Stalin. The Thought Police could be the NKVD. Even the lovely contractions are derived from Mother Russia (Dialectical Materialism=DiaMat). The slogan “Our, new happy life” a copy of “Life has become better”. Personally, I think of NaMo’s “Achhe din aa gaye”
Jokes aside, I think 1984 is one of the most well-written and chilling books I have ever read. Orwell, a democratic socialist at heart, has brilliantly demonstrated the perils of authoritarianism. Written in the immediate aftermath of World War II, it shows a chilling view of the future as a place where the language has been pared to so great an extent that it only serves the purpose of officialdom and people have been reduced to being tools of the Party. The “proles” are nothing more than the silent masses subjugated to the elite. Your thoughts, your home, your family, your leisure time are all subject to constant surveillance and you like it. It shows how the freedoms we take for granted and the past we derive them from are so fragile and can be snatched away so easily by those in power.
I would recommend this book to everyone who loves a good read. It is a searing political and social commentary as well as a thriller. Read for the masterful way Orwell has used the English language. Read because it is as relevant today as it was 65 years ago. (I’m talking about you, NSA) The book may be a bit dry but Winston humanizes the more abstract themes in a relatable manner. It is a very worthwhile read with rich and layered meanings. It even has cool dialogues like “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness” and “Until they become conscious they will never rebel and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious”.
Without spoiling the 'fun'(chills) of actually reading this book, I just want to tell that this book has one of the scariest personas ever created, the Big Brother, who is a constant presence in the characters' lives (think of CCTV cameras of these days). It talks of a totalitarian regime which doesn't allow free specch and even free thinking, a really nightmarish existence, right?
But there's more. And to explore all the facets you MUST buy and READ this masterpiece which is becoming ever more relevant for us.
Top international reviews
Wow, I was missing out!
Yes, 1984 is a fascinating political treatise... but more importantly it’s a gloriously gripping novel. Characters are relatable, interesting and tragic, you really root for them and invest in what they’re going through. The imagery is evocative and the plot is full of twists and turns despite all of us knowing about Room 101, Big Brother etc from day to day life. I was up all night and read it in one sitting, literally couldn’t put it down.
Don’t make the same mistake I did, don’t ignore it as a ‘boring’ or ‘dry’ - read it!
To every young person who has been assigned this book, know that you are reading a literary work of art. Many of you will understand and appreciate it, but if you love literature, please make a mental note to read this again when you are older. Youth brings with it eternal hope, boundless optimism and of course, hormones, so you will find yourself rebelling against the pessimism of the book itself - you will effectively be Winston raging against the machine, hoping, searching, questing for a way out. In short, you will cheat.
But when you get older, have a family, lose loved ones and see some of your dreams unfulfilled - when you witness entire nations and races of peoples born, live and die in brutal squalor - when you reflect on the technological advances made over the decades and gaze, with mouth agape, at how a people can be less advanced, less informed and less enlightened, not despite these innovations, but BECAUSE of them, then you will read 1984 as it was meant to be read...not as a dark, dystopian world you enter when you open the book, but a beautifully brutal warning that, even as you read it, is prophetically coming true around you.
However, my copy of the book came deeply flawed throughout most of part 2 (135 pages) with the text repeatedly alternating between being pressed too far out (forcing you to hold either the centre or outside of the pages to read) or too far in (forcing you to crack the spine to even read them!). On a few pages the text is pressed so far into the inside margin that numbered grey blocks run are printed up the outside edges.
This may not sound like a big deal but it quickly becomes an annoyance and takes away from the enjoyment of reading a otherwise great book.
Did you know, in Canada, there are now laws governing compelled speech, and it’s possible for you to go to prison for using the wrong words?? Well, the same is true in Orwell’s 1984.
If you read this book, you will look at our world differently. Maybe it will inspire you to create change, or maybe it will pummel you into submission just like so many people in Orwell’s novel.
And I would say it's true. I did however find it quite hard to get into at first, But I kept reading and I'm glad I did. There are reasons this book has been banned on and off since its publication. It's haunting, eerie and very profound and it will leave you questioning the type of world we live in.... or could possibly live in.
1984 itself is great but please don't read the introduction first. Read it last.
When George Orwell wrote this book, the means of monitoring and controlling people were not well advanced, and many 'anti-state' behaviours could go unnoticed and unchecked. Also, Marxism (and Globalism) had not got a toehold in the West. Essentially then his novel was little more than a work of fiction. Reality is now beginning to catch up. The two main ingredients are now here: Marxism is going mainstream in the West, and technology is allowing governments and organisations to record the minutiae of everyone's life (online comments, credit-card purchases), disseminate propaganda (fake news) and enforce conformity (China's Social Credit System).
In this so-called clown world in which we now live democracy is being sidelined, history is being rewritten, truths and facts are becoming 'constructs', scapegoats are being created to funnel hate, the traditional family unit is being attacked, etc, etc. George Orwell would not have to dig deep for inspiration, were he writing 1984 now.
This is a very depressing novel; and if you are quite content to live happily in your bubble, then I advise you not to read it.
There should be some sort of warning that Key parts of the plot are revealed in the intro section.