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An Honest Review: 1984

Books are displayed under a sign at the Harvard Book Store, Thursday, March 9, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. Readers have been flocking to classic works of dystopian fiction in the first months of Donald Trump's presidency. Novels depicting dysfunctional societies have shot to the top of best-seller lists in recent months, including George Orwell's

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Books are displayed under a sign at the Harvard Book Store, Thursday, March 9, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. Readers have been flocking to classic works of dystopian fiction in the first months of Donald Trump's presidency. Novels depicting dysfunctional societies have shot to the top of best-seller lists in recent months, including George Orwell's "1984" and Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale." Publishers credit Trump's election for sparking demand. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

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Each upcoming Thursday, I’m going to be giving my personal and honest review on some timeless classics. This week, the infamous 1984 by George Orwell is being analyzed. I read this book last year as my summer free read, and let’s just say that I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. As is expected, spoilers are ahead. It’s a review, what do you expect?

Plot:

It’s the year 1984 (obviously), and the world is essentially in shambles. A totalitarian rule has taken over the government and the people. The leader of this messed-up government is called “Big Brother”. If you ever go against what this government believes, you suffer extreme consequences

Our main character, Winston, is introduced as a weak slab of a person who spends his days rewriting historical records to meet the government’s wishes. In secret, he disagrees with the government strongly, but doesn’t say anything (because who wants to endure eternal torture from the government?).

The main plot line is then introduced: Winston is pining after a girl. Her name is Julia, and in Winston’s eyes, she’s the most beautiful, perfect, amazing person who’s ever lived. It sounds sweet, right? Wrong. These two lovebirds begin a secret affair, which, not to mention, breaks every rule that the government has established. Tragically, they seem to think that they’ll never get caught. (??)

In the midst of his romantic escapades and rebelling against Big Brother, Winston has time to further dig himself into a hole with the government. O’Brien, a member of the rebellion, approaches him and asks him to join the fight against totalitarianism. Winston agrees, stupidly. Have I mentioned that he’s not the most intelligent character?

Unfortunately, O’Brien ends up to be a member of Big Brother’s squad, and he just pretended to be a rebel to get both Wilson and Julia in trouble. Winston is then tortured for months until he agrees to believe the ridiculous statements Big Brother instills. (One of these beliefs is that 2+2=5. Really, George Orwell? That’s the best you could do?)

Fast forwarding to years later, both Winston and Julia have been successfully brainwashed to love Big Brother and their undying love has, in fact, died.

Review:

Wow, what a book. If you’re a fan of happy endings, 1984 is not for you. If you’re a fan of likable characters, it’s also not for you. If you’re easily disturbed, please, don’t read this book.

Now that that’s out of the way, I can really dig into it. A totalitarian government is a frightening thought. Let’s hope whoever has the important job of leading our country chooses fairness and equality instead of fighting people who don’t share the same beliefs. Wait a minute…

Wilson and Julia, come on. The things they do are really, really dumb. Their love affair is completely careless. Rebelling against the government, when they’re well aware of the consequences, is the absolute least intelligent choice either of them could have made. I understand that the one positive message in this book is sticking to your beliefs, but personally, when it’s a matter of life and death, maybe I’ll think my rebellious thoughts in private.

The ending is just absurd. It provides even more darkness to the plot, which we actually have enough of and didn’t need! Having the ending being the fact that they were brainwashed implies that even your strongest beliefs, the ones you hold near and dear to your heart, can be stepped on by anyone at anytime. And forgive me, but I simply don’t think that’s correct.

I apologize in advance, Mr. Orwell, but this book gets a weak 6/10 from me.

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