Book:Nineteen Eighty-Four

Author:George Orwell


Nineteen Eighty-Four-George Orwell

A haunting love-story set against the terror-stricken background of a Totalitarian regime where Big Brother rules undisputed and much-revered in his absolute power, “real power, the power we have to fight for night and day, is not the power over things, but over men” and over a world where “two and two make five”, where juxtapositions and contradictions are the cemented truth of the rules of society. Laced with an erotic sexual fantasy: “vivid, beautiful hallucinations flashed through his mind. He would flog her to death…cut her throat at the moment of climax” in a world where love is prohibited and the “sex instinct will be eradicated”, no loyalty nor love allowed “except the love of Big Brother.” Essentially a story of forbidden love, a secret affair between the politically-rebelling protagonist, Winston, and sensual, rational Julia as they strive to find their future in a place where the past is ever-altering and dismissed, where even the memories of childish nursery rhymes have ceased to exist.

Social/Historical context:

The context of the book puts at perspective its tale of illegal love; the absolute power of the Totalitarian regime sets the context for a harsh conclusion of betrayal in which all love must be reproached and replaced only with the love of Big Brother. Set in the future, its historical context reflects the fears of the possibility of spreading Fascism, Nazism and the dangers of the totalitarian rule.

Writing Style:

Written in third-person, Orwell describes the horrific possibilities of Totalitarianism where the only means to survival is betrayal; the element of power is extended to unbelievable capabilities - to the degree where “there will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life” but cells, living only to preserve the immortal Big Brother. The story is told from the perspective of an omniscient narrator who portrays the life of Winston Smith, our protagonist and his mission to find truth and sanity in a world where a certain way of thinking is forbidden.

My Thoughts:

A very thought-provoking novel which places itself on the turning-point in history, truly a political satire entwined with the beauty of a love story, I found it enthralling and compelling as well as informative for giving in-depth background information on Totalitarian regime – the fears, the power and the reasons.

Book Reviewed by Genevieve

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