1984 by George Orwell is truly unlike any other novel or work of literature I have ever read before. The novel was written in 1949, and portrays a nightmarish vision of what the world will be like in the year 1984, just only 35 years in the future. This book highlights the dystopian society that our world has come to, where no one can contain there memories and there is no record of the past. The novel takes place in London, Oceania, a fictitious place that is one of the world’s three main powers, the other two being Eurasia and Eastasia. In Oceania, nobody is very unique, and no one can remember anything about their past or the past of the world. The country is controlled by the government and politics, and also “Big Brother,” who seems to be the face of the government. His face is present almost everywhere, from the money in your pocket to billboards and posters. He appears to be the face of their country, like George Washington or Uncle Sam. In this novel so far, it appears that most people are brainwashed to love their government and country, and do not pose their own opinion. The main character is Winston Smith, a fairly average person who works for the government, like most other people. This first section of the story follows Winston through his daily life, and the many differences from today. A strange ritual that this country performs, that even Winston joins in with, is the Two Minute Hate. This is where everyone stops what they are working on to go to a telescreen, which proceeds to show some of Oceania’s worst enemies, including Eurasia. The crowd then begins to scream at the screen and let out all of the hate trapped inside them loose. Another important detail is that it is strictly prohibited to keep records of anything. Winston foolishly decides to begin his own diary, and write down his day to day thoughts and opinions. If one is to keep a record like this, it is punishable by death.
It is strange instances like this that make this book so interesting. I find it crazy that someone could believe that the world could change so much in 35 years as well. To think that a group of people could erase all memories and history from an empire of people is beyond me. As of right now, I would rate this novel 9/10 stars. It is very sophisticated read that keeps the reader intrigued. In the first chapters of the book, not much is explained about the world of 1984, but instead just drops you into the everyday life of one of it’s people. This quickly becomes confusing, as it starts to use terms and phrases, like “Ingsoc” and “doublethink” that have no meaning to me. Other than that, the book is fantastic, and I look forward to continuing Winston’s story.