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1984 by George Orwell

August 11

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc., Listening Length: 11 hours and 26 minutes, (328 Pages), ASIN: B000Q6ZLOI

Winston Smith, a member of the party, has been taught to hate. Everywhere around him are the thought police and he leads a life filled with drudgery, until he meets Julia. This novel shows one man’s struggle to try to overcome the oppression of “Big Brother”.

Mr. Orwell wrote numerous narrative documentaries and novels. His two most renowned works include 1984 and Animal Farm. 1984 is dystopian fiction and it is told in a third person narrative by the main protagonist. The story was first published in 1949.

The impact of World War II is clearly reflected in this storyline. Mr. Orwell shows his view of what our world would be like if democracy had been abolished and if an authoritarian government became the predominant force.  The book shows how “Big Brother” controls not only the media, but all print, and through this controls the people.  Mr. Orwell was opposed to totalitarianism, and this is reflected in his writing. He paints a depressing view of life, showing a dismal picture of how people can treat each other when power corrupts. At times the writing was amazing. I thought the contrast between a bird singing and the darkness of the story was very moving.

This book portrays how a few people can become power hungry and through control and manipulation can totally destroy humanity.  However, I do not think the human spirit can so easily be overcome.  I do not believe the grim view that Mr. Orwell portrays could ever come about.  I think the human spirit would triumph.

This is a standalone story that starts out great but leads the reader down through gloomy and desolate steps into a form of hell.  I recommend the story as a great read.

Favorite Quotes:

A thrush had alighted on a bough not five metres away, almost at the level of their faces. Perhaps it had not seen them. It was in the sun, they in the shade. It spread out its wings, fitted them carefully into place again, ducked its head for a moment, as though making a sort of obeisance to the sun, and then began to pour forth a torrent of song. In the afternoon hush the volume of sound was startling. Winston and Julia clung together, fascinated. The music went on and on, minute after minute, with astonishing variations, never once repeating itself, almost as though the bird were deliberately showing off it virtuosity.

Whenever he began to talk of the principles of Ingsoc, doublethink, the mutability of the past, and the denial of objective reality, and to use Newspeak words, she became bored and confused and said that she never paid any attention to that kind of thing. One knew that was all rubbish, so why let oneself be worried by it? She knew when to cheer and when to boo, and that was all one needed.

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