BOOKLIGHT: 1984

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Julie Norris

The dystopian classic 1984 by George Orwell is still relevant today.

Julie Bauer, Staff Writer

1984 is a book that will pull you in and chill your soul.

George Orwell’s 1949 novel introduces to its readers a world dominated by an oppressive, all-controlling government. Known as the Party, this government controls every facet of its citizens’ lives—from the interactions they have with each other to the things they do in their private lives. The Party controls history. It alters facts, and everyone believes them.

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The hero of the novel is 39 year-old Winston Smith. Winston sees that the party has taken the humanity out of being human, and doesn’t think it is right. He seems to have no allies. His only hope lies within the Brotherhood, a secret organization that aims to bring down the party. However, the existence of this organization is questionable, and it is only a matter of time before Winston is punished for his heresies.

Even if you don’t find the action of the novel thrilling or its message compelling, you can likely admire the thought that was put into writing it.”

Detailed world-building is 1984’s strongest point. Orwell brings Winston’s bleak world alive with complex analyses of its government’s inner workings, explanations on how the Party has minimized language to suit its needs, and more. Even if you don’t find the action of the novel thrilling or its message compelling, you can likely admire the thought that was put into writing it.

The characters are likeable—even the villains. The romance isn’t forced and adds impact and variety.

In some respects, however, 1984 isn’t a perfect narrative. Its pacing is uneven. The beginning and middle of the novel are moderately slow, with all of the action packed into the last third. After you finish, it could end up making you feel like you read something good, but don’t remember enjoying it much along the way. If you’re looking for something that’s simply nonstop thrills, then you’re better off looking somewhere else.

This nightmarish prediction of the future is a must read, though, for people that are interested in politics, government, and history. It can be connected to American government in the present day. 1984’s timelessness is one of the major reasons why people are still reading it today.