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1984

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

63 out of 65 people found this review helpful.

Interesting read...

So what can I say about this book that hasn't been said before? Having read it I can see how it has become regarded as classic fiction. Of course the year 1984 has come and gone and many folks say had it been titled "2009" it would have been much more accurate.
For tho...
So what can I say about this book that hasn't been said before? Having read it I can see how it has become regarded as classic fiction. Of course the year 1984 has come and gone and many folks say had it been titled "2009" it would have been much more accurate.
For those of you who haven't read it, it is a complex novel but with a fairly basic plot. The protagonist, Winston Smith, is a functioning member of a society in the future who meets a woman he is attracted to. Much of the book surrounds their attempt to form a relationship in this society that just won't allow that sort of thing. Of course the real point and value of the novel is to illustrate where our current society may be headed if we don't change course, a sort of anti-utopian (dystopian?) novel. This book has brought us common terms such as "Big Brother", "doublethink", and "thought police." There are long sections where Winston reads to his girl friend from the official government manual detailing how the society came to be as well as the evolution of the government-speak ("Newspeak") language. I am glad that I've read this novel but at the same time I can't say that I would ever want to read it again. My political/societal views are already pretty much cemented in place and this book, while thought provoking, did not change my views. I do agree that it should be studied at the High School level though, not only for its value to the world of literature but also as a way to kick start young people's thinking on what a society should and shouldn't be.
Essentially 1984 presents a juggernaut state that has become unmoored from whatever benign ideals once berthed it and has drifted off beyond site of a reassuring oasis-like coastline. A state in which its inhabitants no longer strive to achieve their original goals be they based on economical, religious or political ideals and have allowed the state to become a living entity in itself with the destruction of the human spirit as its sole aim.

Be sure to watch the three different movies made from this book:
1984 (1954) Peter Cushing is Winston Smith
1984 (1956) Edmond O'Brien is Winston Smith
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) John Hurt is Winston Smith

posted by Jessi-21 on September 11, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

loved the idea, hated the book...

Reading the book was a boring struggle for me, but i absolutley loved the entire idea of the book.

posted by Anonymous on August 26, 2004

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2004

    loved the idea, hated the book...

    Reading the book was a boring struggle for me, but i absolutley loved the entire idea of the book.

    8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2001

    Ignorance Is Strength?

    Isaac Deutscher said it best in his justifiably hostile critique of this book: 'Orwell borrowed the idea of '1984', the plot, the chief characters, the symbols, and the whole climate of his story' from Russian writer Evgeny Zamyatin's 'We'. Orwell's true genius was not his spinning of this 'literary masterpiece', but his interpretation and subsequent modification of Zamyatin's novel. I do believe that on its own '1984' could merit some positive criticism, but when it is held up next to the original the cracks begin to show through. Do yourself a favour, don't get caught up in the 'pop culture' of Big Brother, Newspeak and Doublethink. Read 'We' instead.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2003

    Confusing

    I enjoyed parts of the book but it was soooo confusing. I found myself re-reading parts to understand them.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    Is it supposed to be in a poem shape

    Mine is formed like a poem and its making my life hard

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2008

    1984 by George Orwell

    1984, written by George Orwell expresses his profound consciousness of social injustice, intense dislike of totalitarianism, and a passion for clarity in language. His purpose was to expound on the social theories resulting of a ruling, omnipotent, ultranationalist party. He writes in the third-person in the present tense as a narrator with limited knowledge of the plot. Through the actions of the characters and their interactions with their surroundings he exemplifies the outcome of an all-controlling ruling party. Through such programs as ¿Newspeak¿, the systematic destruction and restructuring of language, the ruling Party controlled by ¿Big Brother¿ successfully limits the range of knowledge of a person. Their ultimate goal is to have such a limited range of words as to hamper and eventually make impossible the expression of free thought. Another of the Party¿s programs is the perpetual destruction and recreation of documents of the past. In so doing, they make it possible for The Party to create a fictional account of history. The Party continually synthesizes evidence to support said account. Thus, ¿whoever controls the present, controls the past¿. <BR/> Ministry of Truth bureaucrat Winston Smith is the main character. The story is three-fold. The first describes the world of 1984 as he perceives it; the second is his illicit romance with Julia and his intellectual rebellion against the Party; the third is his capture and imprisonment, interrogation, torture, and re-education in the Ministry of Love. The intellectual Winston Smith is a member of the Outer Party, and lives in the ruins of London. As his parents disappeared in the civil war, the English Socialism Movement or Ingsoc in Newspeak put him in an orphanage for training and employment in the Outer Party. His existence consists of living in a one-room apartment. He is discontented, and keeps an ill-advised journal of dissenting, negative thoughts and opinions about the Party. If the journal or Winston's abnormal behavior was to be discovered, it would result in his torture and execution at the hands of the Thought Police. However, he is blessed with having a small corner beside his tele-screen where he cannot be seen, where he can keep his own private secrets. Winston Smith is a bureaucrat in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth, revising historical records to match the Party's official version of the past. Smith's job is perpetual; he re-writes the official record, re-touches official photographs, deleting people officially rendered as unpersons. The original or older document is dropped into a "memory hole" chute leading to an incinerator. Although he likes his work, especially the intellectual challenge of revising a complete historical record, he also is fascinated by the true past, and eagerly tries to learn more about that forbidden truth.<BR/> Through his writing in 1984, George Orwell typifies the now prevailing perception of an all-knowing, all-controlling ruling party as a society eventually depraved of thought. Since the book is so focused on social theory, I would recommend the book only to someone who is interested in that topic.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2000

    Good, but not a classic!

    I read this for school, and though it was a good book, it is not a classic. Reading is my favorite thing to do, but this just didn't capture my imagination. This book didn't live up to it's potential, in my opinion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2014

    Very good, but, just too long, and repetitive. But the detail wa

    Very good, but, just too long, and repetitive. But the detail was what I expect from him.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

    George orwell is a fantastic author and 1984 is no disapointment

    George orwell is a fantastic author and 1984 is no disapointment. The story is very adventurous and unpredictable. Winston, the main character is put in some very tough situations and you should read the book to see how he gets out of those tough situations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2014

    Messed up....

    Read this book for school.... really strange! Not for kids under 13.

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  • Posted February 20, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    1984 is a science fiction first published in the 40¿s.  An idea

    1984 is a science fiction first published in the 40’s.  An idea that George Orwell thought of as a possible future.  To explain the book without ruining the ending is hard.   The book is dark and as the character sneak away to spots where Big Brother can not see them.  There is always the feeling that you should look over your shoulder to see if they found you.  Being in places Big Brother can’t see you and being punished for going to those places does not seem as insane as thinking of being somewhere else and being punished for.   Imagine having a thought against Big Brother and speaking in your sleep about it. Only to have your 5 year old daughter to report to the Thought Police for punishment which could be death.




    This strange version of history that could have been is difficult to have anything good to say about it.  Except for the fact that thankfully we do not live like this. 




    You want badly for the couple in the book to find a way to break loose and free themselves from Big Brother.  Never thinking that the ending will turn as it does.




    So much sadness and melancholy within in one book is depressing at times but it was a interesting read of a classic. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    I never understood why this novel is one of the most widely purc

    I never understood why this novel is one of the most widely purchased novels, but it's no surprise that people are so paranoid of their government if they read this book. Orwell, a student of Huxley whom also wrote a &quot;Utopian&quot; novel, describes a world some people think we live in today, that is constantly surveillanced by secret agencies like the NSA. 

    Winston, the unfortunate and depressed man to work at the erroneously named Ministry of Truth, since they are editing history to their own version, feels trapped by The Party which limits freedoms to extremes that haven't been seen since before the Magna Carta in the 12th century, or in brief spots throughout history that were controlled by despots and dictatorships. 

    The book was an inspiration for Alan Moore's V for Vendetta, but the problem is that neither governments would last long because the people monitoring everyone else would have to change by reform or face violent revolutions. Even poor Winston could not love another woman without being shot in the back of the head.

    The paranoia created from this fictional novel is by people's poor understanding of government. There isn't enough machines or personnel to monitor everyone and if they saw all the large amounts of data they would soon realize that they would have trouble finding where to start. Accusing an inanimate part of bureaucray, &quot;government&quot; for nearly every problem is from someone, or a groups misguided anger towards things they don't understand. Clearly, the DMV isn't evil nor the Post Office or SSA, but those are parts of government just like Congress or Parliament or the military or more than 100 organizations employed by the public sector.

    Because poor Winston was unjustly murdered the dedicated readers may feel that is also part of their destiny, not in this dystopian novel, but in real life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    Pretty good....

    I had to read it for school and i cant say its my favorite. The concept is quite brilliant, interesting, and a bit frightening. It was a cool read but i definitly got bored at times. If you like to read and you want to, you can finish the book without too much trouble!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2013

    I didn't get this ebook, but i read ot with an audiobook.

    It was a really good book. Very slow and boring at first, but by the end, it got more exciting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2013

    Ok book

    Bella only describes edward as ice cold. BORING!!! I dont reccomend reading the next book or else you will regret it. Because the next book is boring

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    Spoiler Alert!!!1984 is about a totalitarianism society. I thoug

    Spoiler Alert!!!1984 is about a totalitarianism society. I thought the story had very well written details that helped the reader understand it was a very strict society.  The beginning of the story described the setting and set up Winston’s life, and the life of citizens in the country of Oceania.  I really liked that Winston had defined thoughts and feelings because it made the story more intense.  His thoughts on the party helped foreshadow that a bad situation would later happen to him.  I thought the beginning of the book was very well written because it helped the reader visualize what life was like in Oceania. For example when Winston says, “On each landing, opposite the lift shaft, the poster with the enormous face glazed from the wall.” This shows that the government always reminded the citizens that they were being watched.  The middle of the book was captivating at some moments then uninteresting the next.  One of the captivating moments was when Julia slips Winston the note that he was dreaming about, it said “I love you.”  I thought it was clever how she tried to disguise it by pretending to fall.  I liked when Julia and Winston ran away together because they finally broke free and did what they wanted.  The ending captured my attention because Julia and Winston get caught for not liking the government, and the mood is very intense.  I thought it was important that O’Brian played a big role at the end of the book because he was the one that got Winston in trouble. Getting used to the word choice is something that made the book harder to read.  This was because George Orwell uses words that are more complex and not used in the modern English language.  In the middle of the book when Winston reads Julia excerpts from the Book of the Brotherhood, it got very boring.  Also, when Winston knows he likes Julia but is afraid of what the government will do to him the book gets very confusing.  Overall I thought the book was average, but not great.  If the whole book was more captivating I believe it would be a more enjoyable read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    SPOILER ALERT!!!    1984 is about a totalitarianism society, I t

    SPOILER ALERT!!!    1984 is about a totalitarianism society, I thought the story had very well written details that helped the reader understand it was a very strict totalitarianism society.  The beginning of the story described the setting and set up Winston’s life, and the life of citizens in the country of Oceania.  I really liked that Winston had defined thoughts and feelings because it made the story more intense.  His thoughts on the party helped foreshadow that a bad situation would later happen to him.  I thought the beginning of the book was very well written because it helped the reader visualize what life was like, for example when Winston says, “On each landing, opposite the lift shaft, the poster with the enormous face glazed from the wall.” This shows that the government always reminded you that you were being watched.  The middle of the book was captivating at some moments then uninteresting the next.  I thought some captivating moments were when Julia slips Winston the note that he was dreaming about, I thought it was clever how she tried to disguise it, and when Julia and Winston run away to the countryside for the night.  I like Julia and Winston running away together because they finally broke free and did what they wanted.  The ending captured my attention because Julia and Winston get caught, and the mood is very intense, they both love each other but they both also want to live.  I enjoyed that O’Brian stayed active at the end of the book because he was such a big part of what Winston thought was “The Brotherhood.”  Getting used to the language is something that made the book harder to read, this was because George Orwell uses words that are more complex and not used in the modern English language.  In the middle of the book when Winston reads Julia excerpts from the book of the brotherhood, it got very boring.  Also, when Winston knows he likes Julia but is afraid of what the government will do to him the book gets very confusing.  Overall I thought the book was average, but not great.  If the whole book was more captivating I believe it would be a more enjoyable read.

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  • Posted March 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I¿m trying to read one literary classic a year. I took on George

    I’m trying to read one literary classic a year. I took on George Orwell’s 1984 in 2012. Wow. I now understand so many of the cultural references to this classic work.

    This is a dark book. Fascinating and thought-provoking, but dark. I can’t say that I would recommend it to everyone (definitely not for children!), but as a cultural reference point, it is an interesting read. I made myself not do any background or commentary reading on the book, until I was finished. After I had finished the book, I read the Wikipedia article on 1984 and I was even more intrigued. I won’t even pretend to try to untie all the knots and explain all of the imagery in this epic dystopia. ;)

    I really enjoyed the narrative parts of the book that tell the story of Winston and Julia (with the exception of Orwell’s tendency toward the graphically violent or sexually inappropriate). I didn’t enjoy as much, the section describing when Winston is given “The book” and reads through the history of ‘The Party” and “The Resistance” and “The reason for unending war”. That was was just too cumbersome and hard to follow at parts.

    Overall, this is a very intriguing read. However, I think that Orwell could have done without the more base sections and still have produced a deeply thought provoking work that would have still been a timeless classic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    This book was on my summer reading list. It was not required but

    This book was on my summer reading list. It was not required but I thought I would just give it a shot. It was weird because it never bored me but I just felt like the plot was such a drag and at some parts confusing.Obviously it is quite political and the author had a lot of messages he wanted to get through to the reader. But as a person who knows just about nothing about politics I couldn't really understand the messages that the author was trying to say. The ending was very dissapointing. I would not reccommend this book to someone in Highschool. But adults may enjoy it as their views of politics may be deeper.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    two thumbs up.

    In high school this was never required reading for me, so I picked it up last year a good 7-10 years after my friends had read it. This book was slow in the beginning, but after you got the language down and were introduced to all the characters the story developed. I couldn't put the dang thing down! I'm surprised I didn't attempt to read a paragraph or two at every red light. I'm glad I read this book later in the game. There is definitely a connection between big brother's ideas and where the united states' government tends to be heading. It's almost as if George Orwell had a crystal ball to look right into 2012 to see The National Defense Authorization Act as just a start to what our country could turn into. ANYWAYS, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it scared me a little, but I would recommend it thoroughly.

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  • Posted April 17, 2011

    interesting

    While this book was not one of my favorites by a long shot it is an interesting read. Very bizarre. I am glad to have read it but do not see this as a book I would recommend to my friends.

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