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    “1984” by George Orwell Book Review 

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    Below is a book review of 1984 by George Orwell. George Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning against the dangers of the complete control of a totalitarian society. He was very successful in carrying out his overall purpose by featuring themes that related to social justice topics and technology. He also portrayed this idea through the use of warfare, 24/7 surveillance, and the fear of total rule by one “party”. He used the power of manipulation, abuse of power, and history to convey these ideas which were essential in judging this book as a whole.

    Although there are many works of literature like 1984, it is still very unique, because it was written in 1948 and seemingly did a great job in predicting much of the future, by using things that have already happened. At the time it was written, it of course added new information, because the social and political themes within the book were pro-communist, but also being exhibited in todays time. Anyone who thinks that the government abuses its power on a daily basis, by presenting life under a microscope would enjoy this book. This book was written to an extent where you already knew what was next, but when it happened, it happened more sympathetically then how you believed it happened.

    Orwell does possess the necessary expertise to write this book. In creating the world of Oceania in the book, he used real world example, for instance, “2+2=5” was from the Soviet Unions slogan to industrialize a five year plan in just four. Before he wrote the novel, he volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War against a Fascist government, and also spent time gaining much expertise on the communist revolution in Russia. He was very supportive of the government, until he realized that there was weak internal power, forced labor, repression, and famine. Orwell then became familiar with resistance forces in the Spanish Civil War that wanted to over rule the Fascist government with its own authoritarian regime. This is where most of the 1984 political viewpoints stemmed from. This made him very skeptical of authoritarian governments. For example, most of the Party’s brutal rules and psychological manipulation came from the Great Purges of the 1936 Soviet Union, where over 600,000 people died. The author has also written Animal Farm, which directly related to the exact same topic. Others in this field do believe he is considered to be an expert in this topic and field because he has direct experience before writing these novels.

    The main themes in 1984 are language and communication, philosophical viewpoints, power, warfare, violence, technology and modernization, manipulation, repression, loyalty, rebellion, memory and the past. These points are very convincing with evidence, because it is very clearly demonstrated throughout the entire book. All the points he was trying to make were supported more than adequately with examples through the use of language and communication, philosophical views, power and manipulation, and mind control.

    George Orwell viewpoints and purpose was influence heavily on the totalitarian regimes of the time, particularly Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union and Hitlers Nazi Germany. He viewed both regimes as the followers glorifying their leaders as saviors and Demi-gods. Their reign focused on stripping people of their individuality in order to put their beliefs and their Partys’ needs over any individual need. In doing so, there was a demand for absolute loyalty and demand to kill whoever was not loyal. In the book 1984, the Party and Big Brother demonized their enemies, which was exhibited in the Two minutes of Hate, the daily mass propaganda, and through Hate Week.

    This was simply a warning to the society at the time of what comes with embracing totalitarian regimes. Embracing these regimes comes with oppression, prohibition of free thought, sex, and expression of any individuality, and demonization of its members. Most of the novel, their is a sense of mourning over the loss of a personal identities and independence. There is also a twist, which is simulated by showing how to take this independence away through sexual repression and loss of individual thoughts. For example, through the many themes presented, such as the philosophical viewpoints, power, ware fare, manipulation, repression, rebellion, violence, and technology and modernization, there is a sort of for sure control over society. They are using the phrase, “Big Brother” to observe the behaviors of their people, by monitoring phone conversations and the internet.

    In 1984, Orwell uses language and communication to control behavior, or as a literal mind control. The book examines this through Goldstein manifesto, when Syme and Winston try to speak of the Newspeak Dictionary. The book centralized the idea that rebellion or disobedience would be done away with through language and communication.

    Orwells use of philosophical viewpoints was demonstrated when he puts us in existential dilemmas. For example, Ingsoc preaches that reality exists in the mind and only the mind. He believed that objective reality exists insofar that it is possible to asses the collective minds of all the the people, therefore not touched by subjective perception. The Party also tries to control the past to have total control of the future, making it unnecessary to control the present in order to control the future.

    Orwells use of power, majorly psychologically, which is demonstrated through the idea of a totalitarian society. The Party manipulates the people by condemning sex, making exercise mandatory, demands of loyalty, monitoring all behaviors, disregarding “family”, and tortures people with rebellious thoughts. Their is also social classes, which you cannot socialize with another class. This was built on fear, division, and torture, so without these three things, I feel the Party would not have had any power at all. There are literally signs everywhere that reads “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.”

    Orwell also demonstrates the uses memories and the past to show control of the Party. In an effort to control everything, any informations or newspapers or source of communication goes through the Party first. The people were not allowed to keep records of their past, such as pictures and documents. This is how they manipulated people, because without physical evidence, their memories would become unreliable and they would believe whatever they were told.

    Considering 1984 is dystopian themed, other books of its kind, such as Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, The Maze Runner series, The Giver by Lois Lowry and many more, can relate on the same topic. All dystopian literature deals with the issues in a utopian society that generally leads to some sort of chaos, as a result of the unstable society. The use of strong literary devices such as irony, foreshadowing, and anti-hero protagonists usually gives a hint to the value of the work. This common theme is generated throughout all the above works of literature. There is also the conveying message that one party rules over all of the others. Also, the author creates a sense of rebellion within the protagonist, which creates a better understanding of themselves and the situation around them.

    Personally, I think the author did his very best in portraying what he thought to be the best depiction of the future. It is difficult to dislike the authors style of writing. Although there are weaknesses in the book, such as failing to realize that it was a totalitarian society before he had written the book and the book is very pessimistic, but it really points out the basic concerns of being a human being.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    “1984” by George Orwell Book Review . (2022, Jan 18). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/1984-by-george-orwell-book-review-175239/

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