Book Review on 1984: A Story of Dystopia

By | October 5, 2021
Book Review on 1984

Last Updated on by Admin LB

This review titled ‘Book review on 1984: A Story of Dystopia’ is written by Arshi Hayat Gangohi and attempts to present a review of the book titled 1984: A Story of Dystopia written by George Orwell.

Book Review on 1984: A Story of Dystopia

 Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.

In his “Politics”, Aristotle advised that governments can show the fear of foreign attack to suppress the possibility of revolt against the government. Not only autocracies but democracies also followed the advice of Aristotle to suppress the revolt and to infuse false patriotism among the people.

Chinese president “Mao Tse-tung” imposed the 1962 Indo-china war on the country, when his “leap forward policy” failed as he had the suspect of agitation. Pakistani political parties always used the Kashmir issue in the election to get votes. At present, North Korea is the best example, where this terror of foreign attack is high in the mind of people.

The novel by George Orwell, “1984” present such a dystopian society, where the state uses this idea of foreign attack and war, to keep the faith of people towards the party.

“The rocket bombs which fell daily were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, ‘just to keep people frightened”.

1984 is the story of a state “Oceania” which is ruled by a party. To keep the personal touch among people, the state is figured as Big brother who controls every action, every movement and even every breath of every person through telescreens that are installed in every house in Oceania.

People have to follow every direction given by their telescreen. Children are bringing up in an environment where their training, to obey the big brother, starts from their early childhood. And these too many brain-washed children inform the police if they see any suspicious activities of their parents. There are thought police who spies on the suspected people, people cannot commit any act which is not directed to do by the state and express any thought which is against the big brother.

Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. you might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.

Every content of the books, newspapers, magazines, novels and every type of document is altered according to the ideology of the party.

Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed. History has stopped.

All information against the party’s ideology goes to the memory hole in the record department, where it is destroyed. Winston Smith, the protagonist of this novel, works in this department to destroy such documents, but he has no faith in the party and big brother.

He is one of the people, who want to know the actual truth about the world and not the altered truth of the state. he is tired from his condition for being watched 24 hours and monitoring every action. And when he gets the opportunity to stand up against the big brother, he becomes ready even to die for it, but in a state where everything is monitored, how can he be free and finally thought police arrest him for committing thoughtcrime and processed him under the chilling torture.

There was the routine of confession that had to be gone through: the groveling on the floor and screaming for mercy, the crack of broken bones, the smashed teeth and bloody clots of hair.

About the author

George Orwell, a political writer and a very popular author of the early 20th century wrote many pieces of fiction, poem, drama, and journals, but best known for his two famous works of fiction “Animal Farm’ and “1984”. “Animal farm” targets the autocracy in Russia under the dictatorship of Stalin. And “1984” also aimed to present the condition of people who are living under this dictatorship but Orwell also included the conditions of Nazi Germany in this novel.

The mention of the ninth five-year plan, rule of party, misery and gross poverty of people, continue war with other foreign counties, free distribution of party literature, are all indications to Stalin governed Russia. Stalin was accused of the genocide of people in Holodomor (Great famine of Soviet Union).  The English journalist Gareth Jones reported this famine of soviet Russia in 1931.

The novel was written in 1949 but this presents the society of 1984 time. Either this is 1949 or 1984 or present time, this novel is relevant to all time. The slogan of Oceania BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, is equally relevant at this time. In the 21st century, where we have sold our privacy and accepted the 24 hours’ watch from the tech companies who are under the control of governments, we cannot say that we are in a much better position in terms of privacy.

Conclusion

George Orwell used all his wit in the novel and expressed his attitude and anger towards communism. The novel is not too much interesting to read. In some parts, Orwell presents us the disgust of washbasin, vomiting, and the food. I compelled myself to complete the first half of the novel but when Winston meets with Julia, this novel catch speed but then again the chapter when Winston read the literature against the party, the flow of the novel stops. The end is of chilling experience, the torture story of Winston force to feel for Winston.

Overall, this is not the novel where we enjoy the romantic life or bravery of the protagonist, but we feel the misery of Winston and the people of Oceania.


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Author: Arshi Hayat Gangohi

Arshi is a lawyer who is working in the field of IPR and specifically doing work in patent laws. She is an avid book reader and has developed the habit to write book reviews of every book which she reads.

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