1984 is a dystopian style book that was the first of its kind. Written in a time right after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan, this is Orwell’s ingenious take on the kind of country he thought The Soviet Union was. In most ways, he was right. The book 1984 and The Soviet Union both have a totalitarian government. There are police that will torture you and kill you if you think rebellious thoughts or do rebellious things. There is rations on everything and the only thing the television ever shows is pro-government propaganda. So, what’s unique about 1984? Is it just a book describing life in The Soviet Union? Well, not exactly. 1984 seems much more futuristic with “telescreens” that are constantly monitoring your activities in your home.
The government also not only shoves a lot of propaganda in your face, but also brainwashes its citizens. It forces its citizens to “doublethink”. Doublethink is when you think that two completely opposite things are the same. For example, The Ministry of Truth alters history with a bunch of lies and The Ministry of Plenty gives smaller rations each day. However, with doublethink, if you received 1 gallon of water yesterday from the Ministry of Plenty and only 1/2 Gallons today, you will think that this is a increased amount of water because the Ministry told you so. You need to be able to doublethink to understand doublethink.
Your memory will literally be nonexistant in Oceania, the country where this all takes place. At least, that’s the goal of The Party, the government of Oceania. In my opinion, this novel provides a sort of insight into what our government will turn into is the CIA keeps on spying on every part of our daily lives. The novel details how a governing body can completely turn you into a mindless, brainwashed slave. You, the reader takes the position of Winston Smith, a not yet brainwashed citizen that secretly hates The Party. There are plenty of surprises and plot twists throughout the novel makes everything you thought before different. This philosophical journey is slow in some parts, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. If you want a book that you can’t stop reading once you start it, this one is for you.
One last thing, pretty much all of the book takes place in a time when Oceania changing their language from Standard English to Newspeak, a language with such limited vocabulary that it makes it impossible for rebellion to happen. There will be a bit of a learning curve as you learn a bunch of new words that never existed until now.