by George Orwell, Erich Fromm
4.4 1360


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1984 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1360 reviews.
Jessi-21 More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a high school student. This was not a required reading peice for me. I saw it sitting in Barnes and Noble on a shelf with suggeseted reading. When I first started reading the book it was BORING! I had to force myself to go on. After about the first hundred pages though, it started to get interesting. The story is ok, but this is a book you shouldn't be reading for just the plot. There is so much more to it than the plot. Every person who reads this book will get a different meaning from it. To me this book says that peoples minds can be molded very easily. Even the strong can be made weak after a certain amount of torture. Perhaps this is a negative thought, but it started me thinking on a much larger scale. I owe a lot of things to this book. I think more clearly since I read this book. I think about more important things, things most 16 yr olds wouldn't think of. This book has truely shown me the light towards literature so to speak. Whether you are required to read this or not, I think you should. If you have already read it, read it again. I'm sure 10 years from now the book will have a deeper meaning. I can't wait to read it again and find out what those meanings will be.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I came to 1984 after reading a series of novels by Russian authors about life in Stalingrad during the onslaught by Hitler and then after the cruelty of Stalin. It's easy to see how Orwell extended the grim realities of the concentration camps of Germany and the labor camps of Russia into this dark prophecy. Of course, in many instances his vision has become realized. Big Brother seeks to invade our privacy at every turn via electronic media. Governments pose rhetoric immersed in 'doublespeak'. The Thought Police exist to bully our free expression. Power is exercised by imposing real human suffering upon multitudes. 'The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.' Oil comes to mind here. And munitions. And diverse other commodities. In 1984 the war is endless. 'Everywhere there is the same pyramidical structure, the same worship of a semi-divine leader, the same economy existing by and for continuous war.' Sound familiar? The High, or the 'priests of power' only fall when assaulted by the Middle and usually assisted by the Low classes. Then the Middle becomes the High and oppresses the Low for which change only means a new master. The protagonist, Winston, a 'minority of one' questions his own sanity but ultimately defends the 'spirit of man' as a force which cannot be overpowered. In the closing pages we see Orwell's true convictions about the infallible power of Big Brother and the triumph of the human spirit. This dark view has real overtones of Nietzsche and Machiavelli, who wrote with the view of realism based upon the inhumanity they witnessed in their heydays by 'princes' with the 'will to power'. But the 'spirit of man' is truly formidable and cannot be overcome, except temporarily, by totalitarian figures and corrupt democracies. The next US national election will be telling about down which road America will travel. 1984 is a cautionary, post-World War II tale but to say it's unrealistically dark and couldn't happen here and now is to overlook eons of history. And to be unconscious of the powers of orthodoxy infringing greedily and corporately upon the spirit of man in our time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If before you read 1984 you never saw how government intrudes in our daily lives and how things are so easily controlled, you will after reading it. Orwell's Dystopian classic lays out how easily we, the masses can so eaisly be decieved by political rehtoric, mind control and constant fear and brutality. How we can be misled to think the wrong thing is the right thing... and how we could be made to feel greatful for it. After reading this book, I can't look at our world the same ever again. So many shades of 1984 are apparent in everyday life and everything we do, political bills that have been passed, an economy spiraling out of control. You have to remind yourself that 1984 was written way back in 1949! It is a frightening prophecy of a world that is only a mere nudge from becoming our own. 1984 is a warning of letting anyone have too much control. Of how through deception, freedom is made into slavery without us even knowing the difference. If you ever thought that there was something wrong with our world, that their was something more than what we can see or hear going on, read this book, it's simply amazing. But beware, once you see 1984 through Orwell's eyes, you may never see our own world ever the same through your own eyes. You will be awakend, and may never go back to sleep.
Nick34 More than 1 year ago
After reading Animal Farm I decided to move onto 1984. It is one of my favorite books, better then Brave New World in my opinion. The scene that Orwell creates is amazing yet the ideas and situations he presents seem extremly feasible in society today. I highly recommend this book.
bah_bah_black_sheep-mh More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, and would recommend it to anyone, especially people who are interested in politics and current affairs. 1984 is mostly symbolic and highly philosophical; I think Orwell's goal in writing 1984 was to explain his thoughts on Totalitarianism, and the power of [big] government; this book was written around the time of the spread of communism, a time when Orwell wanted to warn Western nations about why communism is ultimately bad. It's highly effective, and chilling to the core when you start to make parallels between Orwell's society and our own.
This book made me see the world, and governments in general, in a different light. Once you read this book, you will see allusions to "Big Brother" everywhere, mostly on cable news stations and radio talk shows. When bored, I often think about the concept of "doublethink", "proles", and constant surveillance; thinking about it never gets old. I still crack open my copy to read an excerpt or two from time to time. I would recommend that anyone else should do the same.
mascaroml More than 1 year ago
This particular book was an essential read: speaking to the society that we live in, the world around us, and the politics we take for granted. The book speaks to the heart of the political ¿human condition,¿ writing a manifesto against the apathy of constituents. 1984 tells the story of a single character who lives in a futuristic England, know ruled by a totalitarian government that is designed to keep it¿s citizens uninformed and uninterested. We watch as the main character descends into the bowels of the government, and meets a political leader who speaks to the way the government is constructed, and why it is ¿designed¿ in this way.

1984 holds on, sweeping the reader into the plot, and holds on to the very end. A great read for those interested in politics, and even those who simply want to be thrilled by a great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Literature is the ability to make the reader think. It spawns thought of the plot, the setting, and the subject matter. 1984 achieves this. I had to force myself to read this book because it attacked my view of the world, and I found the basis improbable. But as I read, the development amazed me. Everything about this book is brilliant especially how it unfolds. If you enjoy literature and not entertainment fiction, then this is a book for you to read. If you enjoy to think, purchase it.
Author_DB_Pacini More than 1 year ago
I first read this book as a teen, it was a class assignment. I recently read it again and I'm still blown away by it. I don't know many people that have not read this masterpiece. It was first published about sixty years ago. In today's times it is definitely a profound and visionary book to read again. I assume that it is still recommended reading to students. It certainly should be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So much depth! What a cool world Orwell has created here! What interesting characters! What a relevant story! Help me, God, I never thought a book this great was possible. This book transcends all thoughts that it is "just a book"; it feels so real!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first started reading the book it was BORING! I had to force myself to go on. After about the first hundred pages though, it started to get interesting. and take a extra 15% off promo code from bookscoupons.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good.... i couldn't put it down when i was reading it ... The only thing was the ending was pretty sad and it was kind of generic(no element of suprise)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for those who watch political and social movements. The repression of speach and liberty are main ideas here as well as revisionist history. Do we rewrite the past? Do we clean it up for our own desires? Do we uncover issues that were not properly dealt with? How do we view news? The media? The government? Our language? All of these are within this classic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I see a lot of negativity towards conservatives and relating them to this book. I'm sorry, but the dangers seen in this book (of fiction, in case you forgot) are due to large global governments and social programs, which are liberal points. Not to mention if you disagree with liberal policies you are often called a bigot, Nazi, or a fascist. These are obviously huge staples of liberal agenda today and these are the major points in the book: large govt, socialism, and only one way of thinking. Failure to recognize this is complete bias.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely amazing but you can read it for free online if you look it up on google.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A book that can really excercise the "inner good" portion of your brain. Orwells writing style can be a bit dry but that is quite fitting in this novel. 1984 is a reminder that government and "Big Brother" only have the control we allow. It would seem hard to write a book as this and not pander to either political faction but as "right-wing" as I may be this book didn't offend. Rather it gives quite a timeless lesson on our ability to recognize when were being duped by the powers that be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book and the characters Orwell created were compelling and completely believable. Sadly there are many vast similarities in this book to today's times which really make you stop and think where this world is heading. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is sooooooo good!!!! Although some parts were confusing, overall it was great!!!! It almost changes the way you think about society as a whole and if you think about it, some of the content is coming true!!! I highly recomend reading this book!!
Ianv More than 1 year ago
The novel 1984 by George Orwell is one truly deserving of praise. A novel depicting the at the time fears of communism by providing the reading public with a "painting" of a true dystopian society: Oceania. This picture of a truly unfavorable future is the exact message Orwell tries to convey in his book. His portrayal of a somewhat rebellious main character shows the dangers of a government too controlling, any consequences it could have, and what people feel under that influence. The book, being written after WWII focuses on the dangers of extreme communism, and it does a marvelous job at conveying its anti-communist message. One simply can't say that this book is one of the books that fails at carrying out its designed message, or that the author is one that is new to this topic. As with the novel Animal Farm, George Orwell successfully provides us as readers with dramatic plot developments, dynamic characters, unforgettable settings, and a sense of intellectuality that not most authors are capable of delivering. The novel is centered on the character of Winston Smith, a member of the controlling government party controlling Oceania (Future UK), although he is not high ranking. From the beginning Winston is shown to be more adventurous and rebellious than most of the members of the party, engaging in acts with prostitutes, visiting old world antique stores, even purchasing the at the time illegal Journals to write his OWN thoughts in, an act considered one of the most dangerous in the government. As the party begins to prepare for Hate Week (A holiday where they "celebrate" their hatred for their enemies), Winston is captivated by the beauty of a young woman, who unbeknown to him shares those feelings. The two secretly begin exchanging messages, which lead to a full blown sexual rebellion against the party. Their relationship furthers, his acts plunge him deeper into rebellious acts against a totalitarian government, and it shows no sign of stopping, and just when it seemed to be at the peak of rebellion, Winston meets a man by the name of O'Brien, who introduces him to the dark world of The Brotherhood, the anti party entity that goes against everything he's been taught. Treason with a side of sexual betrayal. Will Winston escape from his rebellious actions, or will he live to suffer the consequences? Unfortunately, I am only a reviewer, it's up to you as a reader to choose weather it peeks your interest. All in all, George Orwell succeeds once again at showing the downsides of improper governmental control, and gives us a greatly captivating story to boot. Once you start you won't be able to stop. Five Stars!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazingly relevant 68 years later.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A high school assignment that was unappreciated is a timeless work of art being read 30 years later. The story the author tells was as fitting at his writing then as it is now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My brother had told me to read this book because it is really good. As you start to read it you kind of like it but when your in the middle of the book its amazing. This is a book where you have to do a lot of thinking but not too much to where it is school. The book has given me a new perspective to our government today and how it can be really corrupt. There are .any things in the book that can tie into our society today. Some of those things are in the book there is something called newspeak which can be a related to texting. Also the government ( I think specifically the IRS) has the ability to look through your computers even when they are off. There are so many ways that this book is similar to our society today that I could be listing them off all day. Also there are ways that the book is not similar to our society. I hope you read this book because it is a very well written novel!!!
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Big Brother Says Two Plus Two Equals Five   Welcome to Oceania.  Our guide to this world is Winston Smith, a member of The Party who works at the Ministry of Truth making sure that all documents conform to The Party line.  And in this socialist vision of the world, The Party, as embodied by Big Brother, is all powerful.   However, Winston is old enough to have vague memories of life before The Party took over England.  While he outwardly tows the line, he is hoping that at some point The Party can be overthrown.  As he starts a forbidden affair with Julia, it looks like his hopes might come to be.  Do they have hope of overthrowing the government?  Or is Big Brother really all powerful?   I know I read this book back in high school, but that was a few years ago, so I decided it was time to read it again.  As a novel, it isn’t that good.  There are long, preachy passages and it’s easy to let your mind start to wander.  Yes, some world building is needed, but entirely too much of it takes place.   However, in a study of how a totalitarian government can take over power and never let it go, this book is chilling.  And before you shake it off and say, “That would never happen here,” look around.  I see it happening on both sides of the spectrum, and politicians on both sides encouraging it.  We need to start heeding the warning that Orwell put in this book before we become part of Oceania.   So read this book.  Think about it.  And figure out how you will keep the government from turning into Big Brother.