// So, we’ve all heard about big brother, some of us have probably even watched the reality show (don’t worry, I ain’t gonna tell), but how many of you have actually read the book that inspired this? What am I talking about? Well, George Orwell’s 1984.
I started reading this book as part of a book club session with my student. We wanted to read a book and talk about it. She chose 1984. When I first started reading it, I hated it. I could not get it.
The plot (in a nutshell): It’s about a man called Winston who lives in a land where everything is controlled. There is no freedom (except if you are a prole aka an outcast/rebel). He is scared and alone, but there is a glimpse of hope for him. Or is there?
As I said earlier, I wasn’t really ‘feeling’ the book. The language was hard, the pictures the writer was drawing were strange. I am a girlie girl and I just couldn’t get the book. But I had to read it cause it was part of my lesson with this learner. So, we started talking about Winston’s life and how depressing and gloomy the whole situation described in the book, seemed to be. I gave it time, and then when I reached chapter 4, I started enjoying it. I mean. I loved it. The language I hated in the beginning, was what I appreciated the most later on. Winston’s random thoughts and his ‘miserable’ early personality (he goes through phases) drew me in. Then came the girl and, yeap, I couldn’t stop reading it. The thing I loved the most was the invention of a whole new language. In the book, the characters have to use a new language which is totally stripped of emotions. My favourite bit is this one:
“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn’t only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take “good”, for instance. If you have a word like “good”, what need is there for a word like “bad”? “Ungood” will do just as well-better, because it’s an exact opposite which the other is not.Or again, if you want a stronger version of “good”, what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like “excellent” and “splendid” and all the rest of them? “Plusgood” covers the meaning, or “doublegood” if you want something stronger stills……….You don’t grasp the beauty of the destruction of words.” Syme talking to Winston (George Orwell in his book 1984).
Com’on how beautiful is that excerpt? I strongly recommend reading the book. You can get it now (book or Kindle) by clicking this * Amazon link here.
This book brought out my dorky/ nerdiness. I loved it. You should get it. Give it time though……. I know this is not your typical book review, and I am not going to give you details about the plot. I don’t want to take anything away from it and your reactions to this book. I am sharing it here today cause it is a book everyone should read at some point in their life. I wanted to share with you my experience of reading 1984.
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4 thoughts on “An oldie but a goodie: 1984 book review/reminder”
Thanks for reminding me to actually get round to reading this classic; it’s been sitting on my shelf for a long time……!
i have always wanted to read this book! great review ♥
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You should. It’s weird, but great!!
Interesting review. I find I end up enjoying the books I originally hated at first the most. I may just have to give this one a read. 🙂
Christie’s Take on Life. x