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1984 (British first edition)

English author George Orwell's novel set in a dystopian future.

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1984 - A Cautionary Tale

  • Jul 6, 2010
Rating:
+5

This was a well written book and one that receives not even a modicum of the attention it deserves.  While the book begins by describing the social caste system and the dangers of becoming to personable within such, it is more of a descriptor of how technology and the application of social labels tends to be an implicit divisionary tactic between those within a social group.  Winston's difficulty in negotiating his own personal feelings and the enforced loyalty to his country/region show as being a manipulator for his eventual downfall and selection by the Party.

One aspect of the book that I feel received absolutely no attention, and which highlights the cautionary aspects of this book beyond the global surveillance described, is the Winston and O'Briens relationship.

Winston, towards the center of the novel, reveals a dream he had in which the phrase, "We will meet in the place where there is no darkness," is used as a premonition of sorts.  O'Brien confirms this allusion was used and as well confirms towards the end that Winston was targeted by The Party.

Is Orwell suggesting that Winston was targeted for behavioural modification?  I think it is more than possible and an aspect of the book that certainly deserves more scrutiny, seeing as the book was written in 1948 and Orwell was affiliated with British Secret Service, there is potentially much more that Orwell was trying to communicate.

As well, I feel that the undermining of Winston's attempts to engage in healthy social activity to be quite an alarming aspect of this book and begs the question, if there is to be a globally surveilled society, will it be at the expense of our humanity and the cultivation of personal relationships?

A disturbing question to say the least...

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More 1984 (novel) reviews
Quick Tip by . December 02, 2011
posted in SF Signal
i do not like it ---I love it!  this is my favourite dystopia
review by . February 23, 2011
posted in SF Signal
There are very few writers whose work has been so profound that their names have become adjectives. Shakespearean. Kafkaesque. Orwellian.      1984 remains George Orwell's greatest legacy, a fact shared by Roberto Bolano's novel 2666; both books with a four-digit number as the title, both written frantically by authors who knew they were dying, both profound in their exploration of human cruelty, both lifting the veil of propaganda and rhetoric to get to the Truth underneath.   …
Quick Tip by . February 19, 2011
posted in SF Signal
1984 is an essential book, not just for SF readers, not just for readers, but for everyone, everywhere.
Quick Tip by . February 23, 2011
posted in SF Signal
Pretty dry (dare I say boring) read in places, but the discussion about total context manipulation and its implications still remain pretty scary and relevant
Quick Tip by . February 19, 2011
posted in SF Signal
It's been years since I've read 1984, but it made a huge impression on me.
Quick Tip by . December 19, 2010
the formal political and the weird life style.I'm a chinese girl, and I have to say, some of the pictures seems incredible....fimiliar.
Quick Tip by . October 06, 2010
One of those novels where you find yourself just fascinated.
review by . July 01, 2010
1984 is one of those eponymous books that is probably known more for its setting than the actual story. It's the originator of the 'Big Brother' that we have all become familiar with. It's now used to refer to overbearing government schemes which shows just how pervasive this book is in modern society. Orwell was a proponent of writing in plain English without obfuscation and his literary style is obvious throughout. It's a very easy book to read but don't let that fool …
Quick Tip by . October 01, 2010
The sort of book you never forget. The sort of book your kid has to read in school and you say "At last, here's one you'll enjoy."
review by . June 25, 2010
1984 is a novel everyone should read. It is a scary parallel to what life is like today--although readers may feel that the government in 1984 is much more extreme, in truth, it isn't. Our government in the U.S. censors things they don't want citizens to see and can watch our every word and action when they feel the need to. I find it so intriguing that Orwell, who wrote the novel in 1940, was so accurate in his foreseeing of the future. I read the book in high school, and it was a little …
About the reviewer
Ryan ()
I am an avid reader and enjoy being introduced to new material that I have not encountered. I am interested in all genres but find that I am most drawn to Science Fiction.
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About this book

Wiki

Concerns life in an authoritarian regime as lived by Winston Smith, an intellectual worker at the Ministry of Truth, and his degradation when he runs afoul of the totalitarian government of Oceania, the state in which he lives in the year that he presumes is 1984
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Details

Author: George Orwell
Genre: Intelligent Science Fiction, Dystopian, Political and Social Satire
Publisher: Secker and Warburg, Signet Classics
Date Published: June 8, 1949
ISBN: 0-452-28423-6
Format: Novel
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