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Nineteen Eighty-Four

Posted 15 February 2002, 3.16 pm by Villager

This, as I'm sure many of you will be aware, is a very famous book. It is also undeniably a classic. Written by Spanish Civil War veteran George Orwell in 1949, Nineteen Eighty-Four is an extravagant tale of totalitarianism and the power-hungry, from a working man's perspective. We see the world through the eyes of Winston, our hero of sorts, a middle aged office worker, just old enough to remember the times when the world was free.

By the present Nineteen Eighty-Four sees planet earth split into three continuously warring factions, each consisting of a heavily oppressive, totalitarian state, with the common goal of suppressing the masses and maintaining the status quo. One third of the earth, and the one in which Winston lives, is Oceania, in which a genius system of language and control of lifestyle makes for a gripping read. The tale of propaganda, indoctrination and 'law' enforcement therein is incredibly well created and will ring alarm bells in each of you as to how the governments of the world influence you.. are you being watched? Is your life not monitored and analysed in much the same way as the oppressed are Nineteen Eighty-Four?

Many of you will have read this book, and I review it only to try and ensure nobody misses out on this, "a masterpiece of political speculation". It’s only 326 pages long, and yet it provokes more thought and imagination in that short space than many authors manage in ten times as much. You needn’t be interested in politics to find this a gripping read, as it strikes at the very core of everyday existence. For the second-hand Amazon paperback price of $1.50, you really cannot lose with this, a true modern classic.


Buy it at amazon
on 15 February 2002, 8.19 pm
And don't forget to read it alongside Evgeni Zamiatin's "We", another (slightly inferior, but mathematically engaging and pre-1984) dystopian novel about totalitarian dictatorship - from the perspective of a writer *within* the Soviet Union, in the first years of the Bolshevik seizure of power.

Joe Fleck
on 18 February 2002, 8.20 pm
yeah - I read the book and recommend it...but

it was a pretty difficult read for me (as a 15 yearold) and parts of it (such as the essays in the middle) were extremely difficult. If you're looking for less of a challenge i'd suggest animal farm, also by Orwell, because it's no sweat to read and you get a lot of the same ideas and parallels as you do in 1984.

Totalitarianism bites.

on 4 August 2004, 6.18 am

on 4 August 2004, 6.20 am

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This is again from the 'Faces of Death' cycle. In this piece, the mottled effect was produced by flicking turpentine at the image once it was smeared into the ink.

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