By George Orwell
This book was written before you were born, set in a future that is now in the past! There’s some double think for you!
Winston is a man who needs something in his life. He works for the Department of Truth. He is an “editor” it’s his job to dig up old records that don’t conform to the government’s narrative and “correct” them. In an era of unprecedented government monitoring of the American people, violent protests instead of civil discussion, false facts on the news, and missing public documents, this book stands as almost a scary prediction of a world where we may soon be living.
This is the iconic dystopian story that coined the term “Big Brother.” A good understanding of Nazi German, and the rise of the USSR is important to fully appreciate the novel but not necessary to understand the plot.
Orwell constructs a narrative where people believe things they can not really believe, just because they want to believe that Big Brother will take care of them.
Trying to talk about this book without getting political is incredibly hard. So I will just say this:
For those who lean left politically, this book is a chilling reminder of what happens when war mongering people with strong ideologies come to power, demonizing anything they consider a threat, and all naysayers are both traitors to the state AND blasphemers.
For those who lean right politically, this book demonstrates the problem with censorship, emotional appeals rather than logical arguments, and general communist/socialism government systems, because as long as leaders can manipulate the masses, they can control everything.
1984 has come an gone, but this novel is just as timely today as it ever was.