Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Book Review: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four
by George Orwell
Signet Classics (January 1950)
328 pages

Source:  Personal Copy, Audio

Goodreads Product Description:
Portrays a terrifying vision of life in the future when a totalitarian government, considered a "Negative Utopia," watches over all citizens and directs all activities, becoming more powerful as time goes by.

My Thoughts:
So how have I made it this far in life without reading this book?  After finally taking the opportunity to finish it, I wonder how I made it through high school and through a Political Science degree without having read Nineteen Eighty-Four. 

I chose to purchase this book on audio and loved the narration.  I felt as if I could feel Winston's thoughts as he made a journey to question the life that he was living and question "the party."  This book reaffirmed my love for the freedoms that I enjoy in so many different ways - the freedom to love, to travel, to have a family and friends, to ask questions, to write and acknowledge my feelings, to READ!  This world that Orwell created, and described in such realistic detail, was a nightmare and was in such contradiction to the democratic freedoms that I know.

I think that what struck me the most was the love affair that Winston shared with Julia.  That it was forbidden was horrible, but the lengths that they had to go to be together and to hide their relationship was astounding. Winston risked everything to trust Julia, and he did so with full force, with everything that he had. 

The optimist in me hoped for an overthrow of this world that was described in Nineteen Eighty-Four.  I wanted the characters to experience the world  that I live in, because the alternative that was presented was so unspeakable.  This novel was amazing for its ability to make me appreciate what I have, to describe something so very opposite to what I know.

I hope that everyone has an opportunity to read it and is able to appreciate their reality just a little more, because they have received a little glimpse of Orwell's alternative.


  1. I swear I read this in high school but I don't remember a thing about it. Sounds like I should read it (perhaps again?).

  2. I read this in high school and believe we had to sit through the movie too (was there a movie?). I don't remember much of this book, other than being bored at the time - I might have to reread this one. I bet my perspective would be so much different today.

  3. Something here is waiting for you to pick up. Enjoy !!
    Thursdays Posting (2 of 3)

  4. I did not read this in school either but I loved it when I read it as an adult. It was a page turner for me, and like you, it made me grateful for the freedoms I enjoy.