Review: 1984

Well, to start, this is the type of novel that should be read by everyone. I’ve never been fond of reading or discussing subjects relating to politics. But I do believe in freedom of speech and free will. Otherwise, we’d be suppressing our psyche in countless ways that can gradually lead to the degradation of cognitive processes, hidden rage, and eventually trauma.

In case you didn’t know, 1984 is a dystopian novel that focuses on Winston Smith. He lives in London, which belongs to Oceania, one of the three fictional superstates that have all the power in the world. The citizens are expected to oblige the rules and believe everything the government says, whether it’s true or not. And Winston knows this better than anyone. He works at the Ministry of Truth, where his job is editing past issues of the Newspaper for it to be coherent with what the government is trying to convey at that given time.

Also, there are telescreens around the city that observe every move and every word, anyone is making — anywhere. Since Winston is a worker for the Ministry, he must have one in his own home as well. And it’s not just about being careful of what is being said, but also how. The screen reads non-verbal language too.

Another important part of INGSOC’s idealogy is Newspeak. A new type of language that is currently being worked on, with the sole purpose of limiting the thoughts of the citizens. How can you share your doubts about the government’s veracity or expose their truths if there is no way to express them? Their plan is not only changing but also eliminating words as many as possible, for it to be impossible to wrongly describe the government.

But what if you’re aware and against all the lies the government is saying? Could you be the only one? And most importantly, who can you trust? Winston indeed tries to find out, but while he learns numerous falsehoods, he forgets that Big Brother is always watching.

I cannot tell you how this novel ends (as always, spoiler-free). But what I can tell you is that the events described do share some similarities with the reality of some countries until a certain extend. Which is quite unfortunate, and also surprising to see how well George Orwell was able to imagine the unimaginable when he wrote this novel back in 1949. He was definitely ahead of his time.

“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”


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