Book Review

by Rosangela C. Taylor


by George Orwell

Fiction, Dystopian

My rate: ♥♥♥♥♥

1984 - by George Orwell

A horror story that hits close to home. Too close, in fact. Uncomfortably close. This is an absolutely fantastic work of fiction!

George Orwell’s unique writing style is simple and rich at the same time. The absurd seems true, in one way or another. One just needs to think – while one still can! – and will see so many similarities between this fiction and the current world we live in. Obviously, the elements aren’t the same, but the core is the same, the intentions are the same. Just presented in a different fashion.

1984 is a cautionary tale of sorts. To understand 1984 as a work of art and as a social and human shout of survival, you need to be aware of what’s going on in our global system today (as well as in 1949). Just a glimpse of it will be enough. But if read like a simple pastime fiction you may think it is too far-fetched and you may not understand the links with the current system. Therefore, you may overlook the subtle “warning label” that this story carries in between the lines. 

“The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering – a world of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons – a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting – three hundred million people all with the same face.”

I recommend reading this book with the “what-if-it-was-true” frame of mind. And I challenge all the readers, regardless of their age and experience, to ponder about the so many profound thoughts and circumstances cleverly embedded in this story; and find similarities with what we are living now (especially taking into consideration the unprecedented events that have been annihilating the world since last year [2020]), all based on social and political issues, media brainwashing, fallacies, imposed fears, thought shaping, etc. 

This book is not only a fictional book you read on vacation. It’s a social study, it’s a study of the mind and of the power that surrounds us.

There may be a time when you think you understand Winston (the protagonist), and you have a very clear idea of his psyche. Until you catch yourself asking, “But did he really did it? Is he being himself now, or has he really changed?” This is a thought-provoking story. A warning piece of art. It can be quite scary, heavy, and it can bring you down, too, if you read it with emotional eyes, rather than with the eyes of analysis and comparison. It’s about the wisdom that resides in awareness. The awareness that the world is lacking. Awareness of truth. Of self-empowerment.

With awareness, strength, collaboration, and a strong sense of community, freedom is possible. But without those elements, we are all entrapped in a slow-motion dystopian reality, like the one set up by Big Brother and his Party in 1984.

Rose T.

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