July book review – 1984 by George Orwell

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Book & Author: 1984/ George Orwell

Genre: Science Fiction

I really don’t know where to start how I feel about this book- something like this hasn’t happened to me in a long time, where a book feels so relevant , so brilliant and yet so scary and morose at the same time. I loved it and hated it- through every chapter I was reading the book.

I’ve read many comments about this book and the author, with people wondering whether he was a clairvoyant, who could predict the future- because even though he predicted a fictitious future about 1984, its 2017 and still feels relevant! I was nodding my head in agreement through every passage and situation that the inhabitants of Oceania were experiencing, as if I were experiencing them. However, the good thing was, we still haven’t reached a world that is that cold and that hungry for power. Where love and freedom and joy still prevails in some sense.

I’m glad I picked up this book as part of my England destination reading challenge, because I learned a lot, and admired the author’s vision with respect to politics, power and how the age of information and technology could actually be used against humanity, rather than for them.

Some vital take aways for me from the book were:

  1. ‘Reality exists in the human mind’– this was probably referenced in the movie ‘The Matrix’ too, but in a more positive way. How do we know whether we are at the centre of the Universe, whether we are alone, whether there is gravity and whether 2+2=4? We could say, it is a fact, it is logical, and it has been proven- but the book manages to nullify all of that with the principle that fact and knowledge can be created and changed to suit oneself or to suit a group of people. I think what is more important then is our intuition. Yes, maybe some facts can be manufactured, but our feelings towards those facts cannot be. So like Winston, what makes us ‘sane’ is our intuition and our feelings towards right and wrong, fact and fiction.
  2. ‘They can own us, but they can never get inside of us’ – says Julia. Our minds and hearts are our secret vaults, our go to place in terms of joy and crisis both. Under no circumstance should this ever be allowed to become public or be controllable. Extreme torture and pain could make us want to give up our control on our minds, but that happens only momentarily. No one can take that away from us in reality
  3. The party says, ‘War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength’– and they go out of their way to prove this and enforce this on the people they govern. Many even believe it, like O’Brien. But I say, ‘Peace is Peace, Freedom is Freedom and Knowledge is Strength’ and we should never forget that

Very recommended book, but read it when you aren’t in a depressed state of mind already 🙂 What does everyone else think about the book? What was the most terrifying thing about this kind of future?

 

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