Review: Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell a dystopian novel published in 1949. The novel starts off in Airstrip One previously known as Great Britain, a province in Oceania that divided the world after a global war, the place where one government surveillance and a strictly controlled public controlled by a political system named English Socialism exist, which is under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite, that kills individualism and labeling thinking independently as “thoughtcrime”, which is also a Newspeak word.

The caption “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU,” dominates the vicinity. The tyranny is symbolized by Big Brother, the leader of the Party who loves an intense cult of personality but who may not even exist. The Party only wishes to gain power for themselves and not other people. Nor is it interested to help other people and seeks their own benefits.

The protagonist/the main character of the novel is Winston Smith who is a member of the Outer Party, working for the Ministry of Truth which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job revolves around rewriting the past newspaper articles so that the historical report always supports the party line. Cleverly, the workers are told that the corrections are to be performed due to the articles having misquotations.

Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell

The party controls the population with four ministries, the Ministry of Peace deals with war and defence, the Ministry of Plenty deals with economic affairs such as rationing and starvation, the ministry of love deals with law and order which includes torture and brainwashing and lastly the ministry of truth which deals with news, entertainment, education and art such as propaganda.

On the other hand, a large part of the ministry eradicates all documents that have been edited and do not contain the revisions, this way there would be no proof left that the government is lying to the public. Winston Smith is a hard-working and skillful worker who hates the Party and wishes to rebel against Big Brother.

The class hierarchy of Oceania has three levels, the upper-class known as the Inner Party, the middle-class Outer Party and the lower-class Proles.

Many of the concept and terms in the novel such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room101, telescreen, 2+2=5 and memory hole have entered into the real world ever since the publication in 1949. In 2015, the novel was selected by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 8 on the BBC’s survey The Big Read.

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