Writing a review of a famous and important novel is always tough. 1984 is considered one of the greatest novels out there, and I have to agree on that. This thought provoking novel exceeded my expectations. It delivered not only enjoyment, but also knowledge.
1984 is about Orwell’s vision of the future. Some view this as a warning of what could happen to the world in the future if we don’t make a stand. This dystopian novel is thrilling because Orwell is correct. All the symbolisms are spot on, and some of the terrifying ones are only about to come our way. I’m well aware of the controversies he tackled on, but this still helped become an eye opener.
I have to admit that the writing is a bit outdated. 1984 was first published in 1949 and it’s a forgivable trait. It’s not even considered a flaw back then, and most people don’t even consider it as such today.
We have Winston Smith as our main character in this novel. He works for the Ministry of Truth as a clerk. He has a wife, but they don’t live together. They don’t even see each other anymore. In the monotonous world that he lives in, no one knows that he is against the power. In a world where everyone worships a higher power, there will always be a few who will rebel. Winston is one of those rebels, but he doesn’t know how to fight the power. He is afraid, just like everyone else.
The situation Winston is in could be compared to a lot of things in the modern world. The afterword of Erich Fromm in this 60th anniversary edition further widened my knowledge of the novel. It’s true that Orwell didn’t say that these things will surely happen, but this is a warning for the readers. I understand now why this is considered one of those banned books. It’s because this novel seeks to inform the readers of the truth. The truth scares people, especially those who will get exposed.
I was assigned to read this novel back in third year high school, I was 15 years old then, and I hated anything that was assigned in school. I read about two to three chapters of this and ended up closing this novel and read something else. My mind wasn’t interested in the topics that Orwell discussed here, but now I’m regretting having done such atrocity. I can’t believe it took me 5 years to realize my mistake. It took me that long to finally pick this up again and see what was all the fuss about. Being 15 isn’t an excuse for my ignorance. I have a huge amount of important novels to read soon, and I’m glad that I can finally tick this one off my list. I will read this again though, because I enjoyed reading it. It didn’t feel like a textbook, or an online article, but it was a novel. Simply a novel with an interesting plot, well-developed characters, and thought provoking ideas.
I will admit that 1984 made me feel a lot intimidated before I read it. I was in such a condition because I feared that I wouldn’t fully grasp the essence of the novel. I felt that I wouldn’t understand the real purpose why the author wrote this. I decided not to chicken out and read it anyway. I’m glad that I saw what Orwell wanted to depict, or at least most critical explanations backed up the thoughts I had after reading this. I decided to think about what I really felt and learned about the novel before reading someone else’s opinion of it.
I didn’t write much about the plot because this isn’t a chapter by chapter analysis of the novel. This is a review of my journey into 1984. You can find hundreds on explanation online about the novel, and I suggest you check them out if you want to understand the novel more. I hate spoilers, and I won’t be the guy who will spoil this novel for potential readers of this review who haven’t read the novel. For high school students, please don’t rely solely on sparknotes or whatever online analysis you can find, because it would rob you of the enjoyment that you would feel after reading this.
I’ve had some warnings stating that this novel is depressing, and not enjoyable. I consider that as ignorance. You can’t forever steer clear of these novels and divulge in happy ever after plots. You have to see the truth behind what happened, what’s happening, and what could happen. I’m not criticizing people who don’t read classics, but I’m annoyed at those who will recommend skipping such novels because they consider them depressing, profane, and Stalin-like. Just my two-cents, you don’t have to take it if you’re one of those people. Like I said, I’m just annoyed, I’m not trying to attack you.
After reading this, I felt as if there is still hope for the human race. The terrible things hasn’t happened yet, and although it could still happen in the near future, I believe mankind can still prevent that from happening. First thing we need to do is inform, and then act on it. We can’t live in a world like Oceania, it will drive us insane.
5/5 stars. Truly spectacular. I enjoyed every page of the novel, and I will surely read this again in the future.